Software helps police manage lawful access to forensics info
Forensic lab managers can now enforce policies for extracting data based on user profiles or department policies.
Mobile forensic tech developer Cellebrite Inc. updated its Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) Permission Management software to offer administrative support at logical, file system or physical levels of extraction, according to the company.
The update will let administrators create user profiles and assign data extraction permissions according to predefined procedures or other internal policies. Admins can use the tools to manage forensic lab personnel or extend privileges to other groups of users on “right to know” or “need to know” basis, said the firm.
UFED Permission Management lets administrators enforce standard operating procedures or policies that may require end users to have a certain level of competency or certification in mobile data collection. End users’ permissions may also be based upon the roles they fulfill. Ultimately, the features help managers cut the risk of users accessing private data beyond the scope of their legal authority.
Dan Morrissey, a supervisor with the Sacramento County, Calif., Sheriff's Department, said law enforcement supervisors are often asked to manage digital evidence within various legal boundaries for collection.
"The difficulty for any law enforcement supervisor ... is developing methodologies that both allow for the lawful collection of information while ensuring that the scope of the search does not exceed the court's direction.”
The new UFED permission management tools enable law enforcement to manage policies at a case level, Morrissey said, “while ensuring searches are handled with the same right-to-know and need-to-know mindset.”
“This feature clearly acknowledges law enforcement's position with respect to the current digital media privacy debate, Morrissey added.
Cellebrite Co-CEO Ron Serber said the new permission management update was developed “in response to demand for more evenly distributed mobile forensics capabilities across government and corporate organizations."
"However, not every user has the right or the need to bypass a user lock, access certain types of data or perform a deep extraction and analysis” Serber said. “By extending basic mobile evidence collection and reporting capabilities to those responsible for proving minor offenses or corporate policy violations … forensic lab administrators can accelerate investigations while preserving privacy and due process protections."
The UFED permission management is part of a set of features in UFED 3.0 that include a more streamlined evidence collection workflow interface, according to the company.