The U.S. Department of Justice has posted a revised manual on securing materials at electronic crime scenes â€“ computers and other electronic devices that may be involved in suspected criminal activity.
We note this because, obviously, the security of electronic systems is part of a facility’s overall security. And electronic systems can be especially challenging to obtain and preserve effectively and legally. The DOJ seems mindful of all of this in its manual, Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders.
The guide is published by DOJ’s National Institute of Justice, which issued this revised version in April. It’s “intended for use by law enforcement and other responders who have the responsibility for protecting an electronic crime scene and for the recognition, collection, and preservation of electronic evidence.”
Right off, the guide makes the point that “digital evidence should be examined only by those trained specifically for that purpose.” But it also notes that responders collecting electronic evidence may not be trained to examine it â€“ yet it needs to be gathered properly. That’s a pretty obvious reason for security officers to have this manual on hand and to be familiar with its guidance. Compromised evidence is likely to be no evidence.