Friday, May 18, 2007

Computer forensics in the courtroom

If you have child porn on your computer, how does a court use forensices to determine if you did it on purpose?

Kevin Lang, a computer forensics examiner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified that Furukawa had to have known he was downloading the porn, which includes telltale file names. He said the programs that Furukawa used to find files could not be automated.

But Furukawa testified that he had written a simple macro, or computer program, to automate the downloads. Lang acknowledged under cross-examination that it might be possible to do so.

Coombs, the New Zealand expert, said that he had examined the macro code and concluded that it would have worked as Furukawa described.

This is a lot better than the "virus defense." It appears that the defendant had child porn on his computer, but since he was automatically downloading everything he could find, he wasn't deliberately grabbing it.