June 21, 2024

What is Electronic Discovery, and How is It Changing the American Justice System?

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Did you know, according to The New York Daily News, 84% of American cellphone users say they can’t go a single day without using their phones? We use our phones for everything from checking e-mail to making phone calls to using the web to buy products and services from our favorite brands. Consider, as Business Insider writes, the average American sends 67 text messages every day, or 2,022 every month. It’s this huge amount of traceable data that has given rise to eDiscovery tools across the world.

What is Electronic Discovery (eDiscovery)?
As defined by TechTarget.com, electronic discovery, or eDiscovery, is any service or method used to pull information from an electronic device. Electronic discovery is a type of digital forensic science, used to pull data from internet connected devices, like cellphones and computers, and from static devices, like traditional video-game systems and eReaders. As statistics from Gartner show, the use of eDiscovery tools, like Digital Forensics Framework, is expected to grow by 15% every year until 2017.

Who Uses eDiscovery Services?

  • Government Law Enforcement Agencies
  • The most famous and public use of eDiscovery tools, like Digital Forensics Framework, must be the increased amount of government surveillance following the events of September 11, 2001. If you’ve been following the news, you’ve no doubt seen the story about the NSA and its far-reaching PRISM data-collection program. While this program represents digital forensic services on a monumental scale, the principles remain the same.

  • Private Investigators
  • It isn’t just police departments and federal governmental agencies that use Digital Forensics Framework and other eDiscovery tools. As PINow.com, a website devoted to the craft of private investigation, writes, eDiscovery tools are increasingly used by PI’s in an effort to solve the growing number of cybercrimes carried out against American citizens every year. Consider, according to statistics from the FBI, nearly 280,000 cases of cybercrime happen every year. PI’s use this type of software to help their clients find justice.

The Benefit of eDiscovery Solutions
Time and time again, eDiscovery solutions have proven effective tools for both preventing crimes and bringing criminals to justice. Consider the 2012-2013 case of Gilberto Valle, a New York City police officer. As CNN News writes, Valle was convicted in March 2013 for a plot to abduct and cannibalize women. Using powerful eDiscovery tools, Digital Forensics Framework and others, law enforcement was able to discover e-mails from Valle to co-conspirators, proving his designs.

As you can see, eDiscovery tools are increasingly popular among law enforcement agencies and private investigators. As long as the worst of us continue to use electronics to carry out their crimes, there will be a need for digital forensics investigators, whether it’s for preventing crime or bringing those responsible to task. More on this.

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