How the Level of Government Technology Determines the Success and Effectiveness of Computer and Digital Forensics

The Meaning Of Computer Forensics

Computer forensics is a branch in forensic science entailing the process of investigating crimes committed by the use of computer technology, mostly over the internet. The word ‘Forensics' is commonly understood to mean bringing to court. Most states have enacted laws to regulate the admissibility, collecting, preserving and adducing of evidence collected though computer forensic technology in courts. This is often confused with the term digital forensics. The two terms are, however, generally related.

The meaning of digital forensics

Digital forensics is a forensic science branch, which encompasses the recovery and investigation of all the data and materials found or stored in the digital devices. Earlier, this term was synonymous to the computer forensics (discussed above) in relation to computer crime.

Its meaning has, however, been expanded to cover the investigation of all the digital devices which can store data including phones, cameras, memory cards, flash disks, CDs and DVDs, etc. It also includes the analysis of DNA, fingerprints, blood samples and other related items; it requires expertise of the highest degree.

These two technical terms are commonly used when discussing matters to do with computer or internet security. The perpetrators of a crime over the internet may be residing in different countries. The victims may be from several different and distant countries. It requires sophisticated government technology to trace those responsible for the crime being investigated.

It also requires the cooperation of the law enforcement authorities from different countries if the crime is extra territorial.

The process of investigation and prosecution of crimes committed over the internet is complex. It involves a complex system of tracing and collecting evidence, analyzing, organizing and then presenting it in court. The level and extent of government technology is directly related to its capability of dealing with computer crimes. The government must train its judicial officers, investigators and prosecutors on mobile device forensics, digital forensics, database forensics and internet forensics, in order to deal with computer crimes effectively.

Most crimes committed by the use of computers and over the internet are orchestrated and executed by well-trained computer professionals. The simple counter cyber crime training offered to most law enforcement authorities in the developing countries cannot meet the challenge of the internet hackers, online impostors, money launders and various other computer criminals. The successful investigation and prosecutions of computer crimes in the US and European countries, by use of the computer forensics technology, has proven that they are very effective in dealing with such crimes.