Seizing Electronic Evidence from Cloud Computing Environments

Seizing Electronic Evidence from Cloud Computing Environments

Josiah Dykstra (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2662-1.ch007
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Abstract

Despite a growing adoption of cloud computing, law enforcement and the judicial system are unprepared to prosecute cloud-based crimes. This chapter illuminates legal problems in the United States for electronic discovery and digital forensics arising from cloud computing and argues that cloud computing challenges the process and product of electronic discovery. The researchers investigate how to obtain forensic evidence from cloud computing using the legal process by surveying the existing statues and recent cases applicable to cloud forensics. A hypothetical case study of child pornography being hosted in the Cloud illustrates the difficulty in acquiring evidence for cloud-related crimes. For the first time, a sample search warrant is presented that could be used in this case study, and which provides sample language for agents and prosecutors who wish to obtain a warrant authorizing the search and seizure of data from cloud computing environments. The chapter concludes by taking a contrasting view and discusses how defense attorneys might be able to challenge cloud-derived evidence in court.
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Background

Before looking at the laws affecting the process of seizing evidence of cloud evidence, we provide some context and background about cloud computing, digital forensics, and the law.

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