Worldwide, there are conflits constantly related to digital elements that are used as evidence in criminal cases. There are many issues raised by fraudulent information, manipulated images, and other forms of technology used to evaluate such crimes. Among them, photos, videos and other evidence collected by technological means.
In order to prevent similar disputes in the future around digital evidence, some authorities have begun to rely on a seemingly unlikely solution: the blockchain technology. The subject was featured in na article on GCN.
As they are easy to handle, the idea is that blockchains could help transform public safety. By using the networks, public security agencies would have more mechanisms to assess the evidence and the most sensitive data. In such way, it would be possible to improve an interinstitutional” cooperation. Besides, it would promote greater public confidence about the integrity of the investigation.
But how can the blockchain help?
Establish a chain of custody for digital evidence is especially challenging. This work must rely on many sources and different types of evidence. Therefore, it is particularly susceptible to tampering. One of the situations that may occur, for example, is modifying pictures by using photoshop, putting someone in a crime scene.
In addition, as it is easy to copy digital evidence, it may be difficult to identify the original files. Consequently, it gets even more complicated to maintain the integrity of the evidence in the entire chain of custody
Thus, the blockchain is especially suited to meet this challenge. Actually, the existing federal guidelines to deal with digital evidence are quite similar to the method of operation of the blockchains. When capturing a hard drive, for example, a special team will review the content and will use this data to generate a hash value.
With the blockchain you can also incorporate a variety of data from multiple sources, make it anonymous and traceable. Based on that, it is possible to ensure the authenticity without the need for a third-party validation. The public safety effects of such technology are enormous.
Besides establishing a chain of custody by design, the blockchain would allow the processing of submissions of any agency in the network. Thus, it would increase the ability to collaborate with such information in an open manner in all jurisdictions.
The network also provides a high level of public confidence in the integrity of the evidence. And that´s because any form of police tampering would be impossible, due to the shared nature and immutability of the blockchain.