There are some positive benefits to cellphone, digital evidence in a trial, but there are also many drawbacks. Digital evidence can be altered or tainted in many, easy ways, that are impossible to detect. Modern effective lawyers, question this type of evidence, to prevent an unscrupulous prosecution, perverting the course of justice, at trial. Data storage devices often fail, leading to tainted evidence, aside from being wide open for all sorts of abuse, especially by disreputable, British Secret Service agencies in Ireland, such as MI5, with a well known track record, of engaging in child rape, filming it, and using it as evidence, to compromise both the political and judicial establishment in Ireland.
As a result of the dubious nature of cellphone evidence, modern societies, have introduced legislation, to deal with this problem. Unfortunately in the backward and corrupt juristiction of British Occupied Ireland, this is still not a reality. In the US for example, Florida Statutes 918.13 – Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, states;
(1) No person, knowing that a criminal trial or proceeding or an investigation by a duly constituted prosecuting authority, law enforcement agency, grand jury or legislative committee of this state is pending or is about to be instituted, shall:
(a) Alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation; or
(b) Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree
Thus, progressive courts, cast an extremely wary eye on evidence gleaned from Cellphones. Below is a case history of an injustice event;
'The afternoon of Sept. 18, 1993, someone set fire to a notorious Los Angeles drug house near the University of Southern California, killing an addict. Four years later, R&B singer Waymond Anderson was convicted of the murder, based on the shaky testimony of two eyewitnesses, and on a third, silent witness whose implacable digital testimony the defense didn't dare challenge: Anderson's cell phone...
A police forensics expert told the jury that call logs proved Anderson was in the neighborhood at the time of the murder, and that he even made a phone call through a cell tower located just a quarter-mile from the blaze. Anderson's lawyer didn't attempt to question what was then bleeding-edge scientific evidence. "Nobody challenged the officer in the investigation," says David Bernstein, Anderson's new attorney. "Probably because cell phones were such a new technology."
Now down 13 years on a life sentence, Anderson has his first shot at freedom. The two eyewitnesses have recanted. And using information about cell-phone tower locations with some sleuthing on MapQuest, Bernstein recently showed an appeals court that Anderson's cell phone was in a car driving away from the site of the crime at the time the arsonist was splashing gasoline around the converted garage. The closest transmitter the phone passed was a mile away from the crime, not a quarter-mile as the police claimed; and by the time the fire was hurling black smoke into the south Los Angeles sky, Anderson's phone was linking with a different transmitter six miles away, in Chinatown.
Based on this new information, a three-judge panel of the California 2nd District Court of Appeal ordered the case reopened last and gave the Los Angeles court that convicted Anderson until August to hold hearings on the new evidence, or release Anderson."
Many of the tools, that investigators currently use to extract evidence, are not designed to be forensically reliable. They do not always have built-in features, to prevent evidence tampering. Oxygen Mobile Phone Manager is a phone-syncing tool, which was used for several years, by law enforcement, to gather evidence. It was only recently, that the company realized, its major defects and released a new tamper-resistant forensic version of software, that saves a cryptographic hash, of the data it extracts from a cellphone, that allows investigators, to verify in court that nothing hs been altered. This raises the question of how law enforcement users, such as MI5 in the case against Seamus Daly, secured the chain of custody, in the more than 16 years, it has been lying around, in the instance of their prosecution of Seamus Daly.
The whole basis of their case, rests on such tainted, forensic, evidence? The same question arises in the instance of their clearly tampered, forensic cell phone evidence, in the instance of the Craigavon Two. Oxygen's Mobile, spokesperson Oleg Fedorov replied to this question by e-mail, stating, "I can't say precisely say how they protected data from tampering. I can only hope they didn't change any information and didn't press the 'Write' button." That by any standards of fairness, is simply not good enough, to send innocent young Irishmen under lock and key, for the rest of their lives, especially where the only supporting evidence, is from a semi-blind witness, who is a well known serial liar.
Another issue is that the cell phone industry, has all sorts of cell phones and models, often with no existing forensic tools, to reliably examine them, often the only police tools, are hacker tools, which even when they are thoroughly examined or reverse-engineered, are definitely not reliable, especially in the hands of MI5. Simply put, the chain of evidence in having tamper-proof files, when searching a cell phone, is not sound at the best of time. Even best forensic practices, face a daunting challenge as even complex mobiles, are vulnerable to tampering, before the evidence is secured. It is relatively easy for a pervert of justice, with a Bluetooth device, to plant new evidence on a phone or place bogus calls, backdated on a cell phone. Experts say, this is where the real problem for forensic investigators begins. When ethical courts in Ireland, wake-up and realize, that evidence from cell phones, especially, presented by MI5 are definitely not foolproof, no more than the evidence that convicted unjustly, the Birmingham Six.
Currently, there are always questions, about who puts stuff on your computer, but right now in Occupied Ireland, there are few questions about who had access to your phone, but as the British judicial system in Ireland, is forced to be more transparent, there will be many more, as soon as people realize, there are other means of putting data on their cell phone. Like the Birmingham Six, who were jailed for the rest of their lives, for the Birmingham pub bombings, the convictions, many years later, were quashed by the Court of Appeal, on faulty forensic evidence, by a so-called expert, who initially declared, they all had explosive traces, which, in fact, was later proven, to came from common soap. Today in Occupied Ireland, anyone can get an official piece of paper, declaring themselves, to be a forensic expert on cell phone technology and thus presented, in one of their Diplock courts of Dirty War with Dirty tricks as person of Authority.