|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||Forensic science Business management|
Forensic awareness is vital in modern business management. Owing to sensitivity of internal company data, increasing use of computers as tools of work presents significant business risks. These could be in the form of attacks from malicious parties, catastrophic events, or even internal accidents and malpractices. Forensic readiness, therefore, refers to an organization's ability to retain relevant data for use as potential digital evidence. As an investigative procedure, it relies on intentional collection of digital data including logfiles, emails, back-up disks, portable computers, network traffic records, and telephone records (Rowlingson, 2004). Such forensic evidence can be employed in numerous risk mitigation practices. The collected data may be used as evidence in legal cases such as fraud, impersonation, hacking and information theft. Such data can also be used to back claims of intellectual property. In addition to these, forensic data can also be employed in verification of financial transactions as well as advising of internal disciplinary actions (Rowlingson, 2004).
The benefits of a forensic readiness cannot be understated. To ensure forensic readiness within private businesses like Allied Technology Systems, it is worth fulfilling three main requirements. First, the company must have a feasible forensic readiness plan in place. A readiness plan ensures that crime scenarios are premeditated and potentially relevant evidence identified. It also ensures that forensic operations are lawful and practicable ((Kerr, 2001)). Secondly, forensic readiness requires sufficient infrastructural investment in data collection and management procedures such as data logging and file recovery. Most importantly, apt forensic awareness requires intimate cooperation between involved parties. These include the investigative team, the legal advisory team, human resource departments, public relations departments, managers, claimants, suspects as well as technicians. With an integrated forensic team and apt support infrastructure, common data risks can be managed and associated culprits and events revealed.
In the presented case study, Mr. Dewberry and I can lawfully engage in an on-site gym locker search. According to (L.I.I., 2019), workplace privacy policies are based on both subjective expectations of personal privacy, and objective expectations of the reasonability of employee privacy expectations. Although Mr. Keith Jackson reserves the right to personal privacy, it is appropriate to investigate the contents of his gym locker since there is legitimate business reasons for the search. This is informed by the fact that there is a valid reason for the investigation, Mr. Jackson being the main suspect. Also, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution makes exemptions on personal privacy in the event of open or easily accessible locations. As a legal measure, Mr. Jon Dewberry should confine his search to the limits of only seeking potential evidence.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution applies to all states and all citizens in America. However, the effects of its policies on personal privacy varies with site of operation and pre-existing regulatory requirements. The roles of the Fourth Amendment vary in relation to private and public sectors (L.I.I., 2019). For a private entity like ATS, the employer reserves the right to conduct searches within the workplace. Although different employers display variant degrees of searching procedures, care should be taken not to misappropriate personal privacy rights of the employee. To ensure that workplace searches are within legal confines, there must be legitimate business reasons for the search. As a proactive measure, employers should also announce or develop policies that inform employees on the nature of on-site searches. This reinstates the importance of a thorough forensic readiness plan.
No. Although Mr. Dewberry has genuine reasons for wanting to inspect Keith Jackson's locked desk, such extremes are not legally acceptable. The fact that Keith's desk is locked presents a case of reasonable expectations for privacy. Prompts to use the master key could thus increase chances of a costly lawsuit against ATS. This goes hand in hand with (Kerr, 2001) suggestions that forensic operations must be economically practical. However, in the event that Mr. Dewberry has access to an officer of the law, he may legally offer consent for the search. This is harmonious to the proceedings against Ziegler, an internet service company employee charged with possession of child pornography in his company computer. In his appeal proceedings, the court recognized the defendant's expectations for privacy but also termed the search as lawful since the company reserved common authority over company assets.
The fourth amendment seeks to assure American citizens of the right to privacy in their own bodies, homes, papers and effects. It also serves to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. According to (L.I.I., 2019), unreasonable searches include workplace searches that misappropriate privacy rights. Even in the event of pre-existing company regulations that allow such extreme measures, an unlawful internal search could still result in a lawsuit against ATS. However, in the event that the suspect has been officially released from the company, ATS administration can go forth and inspect his desk using the master key. This is informed by the fact that the locker is an asset of the ATS company, and thus not under Keith Jackson's reasonable privacy expectations.
Involving the police completely changes the dynamics of the investigation. This is informed by the fact that the fourth amendment denotes variant rules for investigations involving officers of the law. At the moment, no solid evidence has been linked to Mr. Jackson's statements. If any evidence is found without involvement of the police, it can be reported to the officers of the law. This makes the evidence admissible in court. Police involvement before actual discovery of evidence thus requires a warrant. Without a warrant for the searches, evidence will surely be discredited in a court of law. Also, according to the Legal Information Institute, any opening of presented evidence will require a warrant. This means that involving the police prevents ATS from confirming if Mr. Keith actually made a copy of the source code, with exemption of a proper warrant. As a better alternative, ATS administration can first allow for the comparison of the original code to the discovered digital evidence before police involvement.
It matters. The fact that Mr. Keith Jackson never signed the employee handbook might present problems in the event of a court case. The unsigned employee workbook is an indicator that Mr. Jackson is not in fact tied to the company's regulations. However, it is worth noting that this is more of a case of negligence in the HR department. From such a perspective, evidence of his stay at ATS such as paychecks, official records and emails could be used to develop a case against Mr. Keith Jackson.
Many employers enhance the legal safety of operations by detailing the extent of their search measures in employee agreements. When employees sign such agreements, they are tied to aligning themselves to the expectations of the employers during forensic investigations (Kerr, 2001). In some cases, employers may be tempted to include excessively stringent rules pertaining to search parameters. This might still result in legal action in the event of misappropriation of personal privacy rights.
ATS security agents can be viewed as representative of law enforcement officers. In the presented case, failure to seize potential evidence could result in complete loss of the source code. Under the consent of ATS administration, the security agents may be directed to investigate the contents of the briefcase. In such an event, the administration must have specific investigative outcomes in mind. This include the type of evidence in question. In the presented case, a major investigative outcome could be the discovery of copies of product X source code. Such evidence may later be presented in a court of law. The investigation must be done in a lawful manner with considerations of Mr. Jackson's privacy expectations. Although the checkpoint sign indicates that its operations will only encompass search for weapons and dangerous objects, a better reference will be the ATS regulations regarding security searches at the gate.
A chain of custody is a chronological record of the order of events in a forensic investigation. It also describes vital properties related to the potential evidence including dates, participants of the investigation, collection methods, evidence management methods, transfers, control as well as the analysis process (Obayyi, 2019). The significance of a wholesome chain of study cannot be understated. When well documented, a chain of study can serve as valuable evidence in post-forensic court proceedings (Obayyi, 2019). This defines the importance of ensuring a streamlined evidence documentation process.
Failure to document forensic chronicles is sure to have detrimental effects. Often, forensic investigations result in court cases where wholesome evidence is required to back presented claims. Existence of missing links in the presentation of a case significantly increases the chances of an unfavorable ruling (Kerr, 2001). In the case of a case against Mr. Jackson, the chain of study will stand as proof that the potential evidence is valuable to the court case, and that it matches the original copies of the source code.
Kerr, O. S. (2001). Searching and seizing computers and obtaining electronic evidence in criminal investigations. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Justice.
L.I.I. (n.d.). ['Amendment IV']. SEARCH AND SEIZURE. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/amendment-4
Obayyi, L. (n.d.). Chain of Custody in Computer Forensics. Retrieved April 4, 2019, from https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/category/computerforensics/introduction/areas-of-study/legal-and-ethical-principles/chain-of-custody-in-computer-forensics/#gref
Rowlingson, R. (n.d.). International Journal of Digital Evidence Winter 2004. Retrieved April 3, 2019, from https://www.utica.edu/academic/institutes/ecii/publications/articles/A0B13342-B4E0-1F6A-156F501C49CF5F51.pdf
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