While bullying and harassing classmates has been a long-time problem, today’s technology is not only bringing situations into the light of day, but providing evidence that is admissible in court. It’s not a “rite of passage” anymore. It is a criminal offense and can mean jail time.
Last year an autistic boy in Washington, D.C. was tormented by his “friends” at knifepoint. They even made a video of the incident. Just prior to that incident, on a cold Valentine’s Day, he was lured out onto an icy lake and fell through. The “friends” didn’t go to his aid. Instead, they used their phones to make a video of it. Luckily the boy was able to save himself. With the evidence on the phones, these “friends” were charged and indicted.
But on the other side, some people are accused of wrongdoing maliciously.
Because the digital forensics investigators at have so many years of experience under their belts, they are being called upon more and more by attorneys representing clients in these sorts of cases.
With perpetrators, and their friends, using their cell phone to record video and take pictures during these episodes, they are creating evidence. Cell phones can actually provide two types of evidence:
- Actual files and records. Even when the cell phone user “deletes” files – pictures, texts, videos, emails, etc., an experienced cell phone forensic investigator will likely still be able to retrieve the data. Data mining software can produce the evidence and the expert preserves it using the protocol process so it can be admissible in court.
- Cellular location evidence. With appropriate subpoena language for cell records, the cell phone investigation can be supplied with records to map cellular tower triangulation to actually locate a cell phone at a particular time and place. Forensic cell tower evidence along with cell phone usage records provided by the carrier can document the actual location of the owner, which can exonerate a wrongly-accused person.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations