Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac
The Toronto Police Service is holding it's 19th annual forensic training
conference. The conference is scheduled for February 2005. Once
conference speakers/presenters are finalized, further updates will be available
on the website:
we looked at the first FBI certified true 1000ppi live scan capture station.
we examine a recent procedure published by the UK Police Scientific Development
Branch as distributed by the FBI FSC to insure the accuracy and integrity of
Digital Imaging Procedure
Scientific Development Branch
Forensic Science Communications
October 2004 – Volume 6 – Number 4
A number of law enforcement officials in North America approached the Scientific
Working Group on Imaging Technology (SWGIT) requesting guidance in developing
policies and procedures to acquire and protect their digital image evidence.
Many expressed concern regarding potential challenges to the integrity of
SWGIT is pleased to present Digital Imaging
Procedure, Version 1.0. This document was published by the United
Kingdom's Police Scientific Development Branch, which has agreed to let us
distribute it. This document addresses the issues of digital image acquisition
and integrity in a straightforward manner that is consistent with the guidelines
and recommendations of SWGIT.
SWGIT strongly encourages agencies to incorporate the recommendations provided
in this document in their own policies and procedures, as appropriate. In doing
so, agencies will be taking an important step to ensure the integrity of their
digital image evidence.
Among the most critical fundamental ideas presented in this document is the
concept of a master copy, which serves as the digital equivalent of an original
film negative or video tape. A master copy represents either a bit-for-bit
duplicate of original digital files or a digital copy of an analog recording
that has been written to removable media, such as a compact disc or DVD-R. When
a master copy is generated, it can be handled using the same policies and
procedures an agency would use to protect and preserve the integrity of an
original film negative or video tape.
As Digital Imaging Procedure, Version 1.0
points out, although it is commonly accepted that a credible manipulation of
digital image files can be accomplished relatively easily, it is very difficult
to conceal manipulation when the manipulated file is compared to the master
file. Thus, creating a master copy represents the most critical step in any
procedure involving digital image files.
Another important concept discussed in this document is that imaging devices
(i.e., film, video, or digital still cameras) do not duplicate or clone reality
but merely generate a visual representation of a subject. The degree to which an
image represents a lifelike simulation of reality will be a function of many
factors, including the type of camera used, the processing applied to the image,
and the means by which the image is displayed. Agencies and personnel using
images should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of different
technologies. Furthermore, agencies must develop policies and procedures that
enable them to generate images of sufficient quality to accomplish their
Some of the guidance in this document may only apply to agencies in the United
Kingdom. Agencies implementing the guidelines elsewhere should ensure that they
meet statutory requirements in their jurisdiction.
SWGIT will continue developing guidelines for the use of imaging technology in
the criminal justice system. We will also continue to work with our
international partners to identify similar documents and guidelines that will be
of benefit to our local community. We hope you find this document of assistance
in your work.
Richard W. Vorder Bruegge
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