Authenticating Electronic Evidence

Law360, New York (July 5, 2011, 12:27 PM EDT) -- The standard for authenticity is straightforward: There must be evidence “sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”[1] The nature of electronic evidence, however, can complicate the authenticity inquiry: Electronic evidence can be fragile, easily adulterated by misguided collection efforts and “damage and contamination of storage media, power outages, and equipment malfunctions.”[2]

Computer evidence also is uniquely susceptible to manipulation, forgery and obfuscation — it is fairly easy, for example, to fake an email to make it appear that...
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