Electronic Discovery: Finding Your Computer Guilty

Electronic discovery is a term used in court as the evidence gathered from an electronic source. There are many different types that fall under this category including, but not limited to, cell phone conversations, emails, text messages, website history, blog postings, and many others. This evidence is treated differently, but often becomes stronger if enough is known about the source.

The purpose of e-discovery is to find evidence that can be used for a particular court case from a computer that is either connected to a network – like the internet – or has been confiscated and is physically searched by government commissioned hackers. Sometimes, the computer is taken and a digital copy of the hard drive is created.Paper evidence can be destroyed by many simple means, but electronic information is stored such that even if you delete it from your computer, there is a way to get it back the same way it was removed. This is an advantage because people who try to hide what they have done will have a much more difficult time doing so.

Electronic discovery is not limited to a single computer’s hard drives, either. If any information has been passed over a network, like the internet or an email account, it will remain in several locations to be found by anyone looking in the right place. This makes deleting this particular type of thing even more difficult.

Many types of files can be used as evidence including picture, audio, and animation files. Email and databases are up for grabs, as well. Instant messages, texts, blog posts, and any computer programs can contain evidence, too. Anything contained within these can be used as evidence against you in court when you are accused of a crime.

Electronic discovery is a field that continues to grow with technology, and constantly struggles to keep up with it. Most of the hackers create worms and viruses, only to have firewalls and other defenses simply try to stay with the pace that they come out. Certain companies will try to make software based on this information, as well.

Don’t feel like you can’t be hacked by someone, either. Be sure to have firewalls and other protective programs installed on your computer, and update them daily. You wouldn’t want someone using your computer to perform illegal activities, only to have the evidence point to you as the criminal. You won’t be able to erase it, either, so prevent it.

So find a little more information about electronic discovery and form some opinions of your own. It is important to be involved in any legal rules regarding something that most people interact with on a daily basis, like a computer and cell phone. Let people know if you feel like this invades and privacy or is constitutional.

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