Module 5 Searching Digital Evidence – Article Example

SEARCHING FOR DIGITAL EVIDENCE (Module 5: Enron scandal e-mails) of (affiliation) Location of Date of submission:
Estimated word count: 383 (of text only)
There is an adage in the age of the Internet: if it is digital and it was put up or uploaded on Internet, then it is available; anything can be searched and located. If it had been deleted, it can still be recovered somehow if the person knows how to do it and has the proper technology. In other words, whatever was on the Internet stays forever in cyberspace. Availability of the search engines which can trawl the entire Internet in a matter of seconds or minutes is a testament to technology. The rule is any digital evidence collected should not be connected to the Internet any more (Casey, 2011). It requires a technical expert for evidence to be accepted in any court of law; otherwise, the evidence is nothing but a useless set of data (Phillips et al., 2013).
A good start will be to type the two key search words on the browser: Enron e-mails and it will produce a good set of search results or one can modify the search words as only Enron emails (no hyphen in the word “email”) producing a slightly different set of results. In this case, the first search (e-mail) produces a relevant link like this:
On the other hand, another second search (“email” only) returns another link like this:
Another way of searching for digital evidence is to use a key phrase (instead of just the key words) to somewhat enlarge the possible areas to be included in the search. This will expand the possible search results but somewhat dilute the significance or relevance of the search result. It is now up to the researcher to read each result and select only the relevant ones returned back. Although one can include an entire sentence into the search box, it is not advisable as this might contain “dead words” which can slow down the search process (words like prepositions such as it, be, and, or, the, is or whatever is not very relevant). Every electronic activity leaves a series of the so-called “cyber-trails” or a sequence of footprints (Kizza, 2010) so it is just a matter of looking for them in storage disks or in entire computer networks where the data went through.
Casey, E. (2011). Digital evidence and computer crime: Forensic science, computers, and the Internet. San Diego, CA, USA: Academic Press.
Kizza, J. M. (2010). Ethical and social issues in the Information Age. New York, NY, USA: Springer Books.
Phillips, A., Godfrey, R., Steuart, C., & Brown, C. (2013). E-discovery: An introduction to digital evidence. Florence, KY, USA: Cengage Learning.
Due: July 13, 2014 @ 9:13 a.m.