IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Digital forensics: the new normal in crime investigation

12th October, 2020 Defence

Context: In the backdrop of the multi-agency investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the role of digital forensics science has come to the fore with digital data being extensively used in the investigation.

Digital forensics science based investigation

  • Licensed equipment, software and algorithms are being used to investigate digital data when the accused refuse to open up.
  • Investigators managed to retrieve significant and relevant data (from storage devices and from the cloud), which had been either erased or overwritten or simply hidden.
  • After retrieving, they analysed, dissected and reconstructed the data to use in the investigations and deciding on the future course of action.
  • Latest digital/ cyber forensics tools and techniques from the U.S., Israel and Germany are deployed in India for gathering crucial information while adhering to the Evidence Act and the IT Act.
  • Under this investigation access to mobile devices, emails, online drives, hard disk drives, cloud logs are provided.
  • In today’s digital world, every drug consumption person or crime leaves a digital trail behind, investigative bodies such as the NCB use this cyber-digital forensics to prove consumption, possession or peddling because the digital trail can never be fully eliminated or erased.
  • Forensic digital crime experts can provide circumstantial evidence to the investigative bodies up to the time of the filing of the FIR, but the courts will only rely on primary evidence.
  • Thus, the digital data helps in strengthening the case or deciding in closing it.