Gatekeeping Out of the Box: Open Source Software as a Mechanism to Assess Reliability for Digital Evidence
19 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2001
This article examines digital evidence reliability by first identifying and differentiating the two competing categories of software from which this evidence is derived: proprietary and Open Source. The next section explores the standards for software reliability in both the industrial marketplace and the legal arena. Specifically, the current standards are addressed in light of their value to industry and the law, as well as their respective historical origins This sets the stage for a reconciliation of standards for reliability as between industry and the courtroom. An outline of the legal approaches to reconciling digital evidence standards and the ensuing dangers of failing to scrutinize the source of the evidence supports the conclusion that the reliability of some digital evidence is not being properly addressed. Finally, this article will advocate the merits of Open Source software as a solution that facilitates the application of appropriate legal standards to novel evidence and helps bridge the gap between the law and industry in measuring reliability.
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