Over 90% of American adults have a cell phone, according to Pew Internet. For the most part, the citizens of the United States use their mobile devices for innocuous tasks like checking their email, talking to friends over Facebook, and looking up movie showings at their local theaters. However, an increasing number of people are utilizing their mobile devices to commit crimes.
According to the FBI, there were 280,000 cases of cybercrime reported in 2012. Cybercrime ranges from identity theft to credit card fraud and was traditionally committed using desktop computing solutions. However, as recent articles from CNN and Quartz show, mobile devices are being used in a long list of cybercrimes, including global money-laundering operations, bank account information theft, and other identity crimes.
Of course, mobile devices are also helping traditional crimes happen in the real world. For instance, Wired recently ran a story highlighting the uses of social media platforms for gang warfare in major American cities, like Chicago, that allow criminals to talk about, plan, and execute violent crimes with impunity.
American law enforcement is not stupid, of course. Computer forensics experts with knowledge of electronic discovery reference models are able to retrieve data from mobile and traditional computing devices alike. The eDiscovery tools being used by investigators are the key to stopping both cybercrime and that being committed in the real world with the assistance of mobile technology.
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Because of their widespread use in criminal activity, mobile phones are often used as evidence in police investigations. Digital forensic examiners, who have been trained in the use of electronic discovery reference models, can extract text messages and voicemail from a suspect’s mobile device. These increasingly important eDiscovery solutions are being used in criminal and civil trials across the country.
Of course, the information digital forensics investigators need is not always found on the phone itself. Through cooperation with cellular service providers, law enforcement agencies are able to gain access to phone and text message records to help them narrow down, eliminate, and prove the guilt of suspects in cases ranging from money laundering to murder. Because of this, 83% of law enforcement agencies make use of social media, through the electronic discovery reference model, to help solve their cases, according to eDiscovery Law and Tech Blog.
As digital tools are increasingly used by criminals, so, too, must they be used in order to catch those criminals. Consider, corporations often enlist mobile phone forensics companies to track the use of their company devices and protect themselves. On a much broader scale, e-Discovery services are used to protect all American citizens from would-be criminals. Law enforcement agencies looking for a better, modern way to solve crimes will all greatly benefit from digital forensic science and eDiscovery tools. Research more here.
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