Scientists to set standards for digital evidence

The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence later this month will propose new standards for collecting and handling digital evidence.

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors will vote on the standards drafted by the working group, created in 1998 by the Federal Crime Laboratory Directors and International Organization on Computer Evidence. The standards would affect all federal law enforcement organizations and some state and local labs.

Ken Basore, former operations manager of the San Diego Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, said the standards are needed to establish quality control for digital evidence.

Crime lab staffs, for instance, need to know what to do if they encounter different types of systems and whether or not they can analyze everything on a hard drive based on restrictions in warrants, Basore said.

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