Digital forensics: Understanding the development of criminal law in England and Wales on images depicting child sexual abuse

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    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In 2015, offences surrounding the possession, distributing, creation and publication of images depicting child sexual abuse (IDCSA) are prevalent. As a result, it is well publicised that law enforcement and associated digital forensic organisations are incurring substantial case backlogs in this area. As more investigations of this type are faced, it is becoming increasingly essential for practitioners to maintain an understanding of current legislative developments, as a digital forensic investigation of suspected offences surrounding IDCSA does not just involve the blanket recovery of all digital imagery on a device. Governed by this complex area of law, practitioners must appreciate the intricacies of these offences, ensuring any examination policies are correctly defined whilst recovering information that will support criminal justice processes. In addition, as triage strategies are increasingly employed in an effort to speed up investigations, it is crucial to recognise the types of evidence that are of use to a prosecuting authority in order to ensure these examination techniques are both efficient and effective. This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of legislative developments for offences surrounding IDCSA in the United Kingdom, bringing together the disciplines of law and digital forensics. Evidence of value to a prosecution for these offences is also considered taking into account existing case law precedents in line with contentious areas including the Internet cache and unallocated clusters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)419-432
    Number of pages14
    JournalComputer Law and Security Review
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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