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Suspect Sciences?: Evidentiary Problems with Emerging Technologies

Copyright © 2012. 34 pages.
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DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1758-2.ch015
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MLA

Edmond, Gary. "Suspect Sciences?: Evidentiary Problems with Emerging Technologies." Crime Prevention Technologies and Applications for Advancing Criminal Investigation. IGI Global, 2012. 216-249. Web. 19 Sep. 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1758-2.ch015

APA

Edmond, G. (2012). Suspect Sciences?: Evidentiary Problems with Emerging Technologies. In C. Li, & A. Ho (Eds.) Crime Prevention Technologies and Applications for Advancing Criminal Investigation (pp. 216-249). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1758-2.ch015

Chicago

Edmond, Gary. "Suspect Sciences?: Evidentiary Problems with Emerging Technologies." In Crime Prevention Technologies and Applications for Advancing Criminal Investigation, ed. Chang-Tsun Li and Anthony T.S. Ho, 216-249 (2012), accessed September 19, 2014. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1758-2.ch015

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Abstract

This article examines the standards governing the admission of new types of expert evidence. Based on the rules of evidence and procedure in Australia, it explains how judges have been largely uninterested in the reliability of expert opinion evidence. Focused on the use of CCTV images and covert sound recordings for the purposes of identification, but relevant to other forensic sciences, the article explains the need for interest in the reliability of incriminating expert opinion evidence. It also explains why many of the traditional trial safeguards may not be particularly useful for identifying or explaining problems and complexities with scientific and technical evidence. In closing, the article argues that those developing new types of evidence and new techniques, whether identification-based or derived from IT, camera or computer forensics, need to be able to explain why it is that the court can have confidence in any opinions expressed.
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2. The Australian Admissibility Framework

How have new forms of expert identification evidence been received in Australian courtrooms? To understand recent developments we need to review the rules of admissibility prescribed by the Uniform Evidence Law (UEL) and the common law.1 Here, it is useful to explain that there are basically two systems governing the admissibility of expert opinion evidence in Australia. The most recent, the UEL, is a statutory regime based on a series of substantially similar evidence acts applicable in New South Wales (NSW), Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Federal Court. Significantly, it will soon operate in Victoria. The alternative system is the common law (and several parochial acts), applicable in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria (in the interim).

According to the UEL, to be admissible all evidence must be relevant:

  • 56 Relevant evidence to be admissible

    • (1)

      Except as otherwise provided by this Act, evidence that is relevant in a proceeding is admissible in the proceeding.

    • (2)

      Evidence that is not relevant in the proceeding is not admissible.

Evidence is relevant if it has probative value. The UEL Dictionary explains that the “probative value of evidence means the extent to which the evidence could rationally affect the assessment of the probability of the existence of a fact in issue.” Consequently,

  • 55 Relevant evidence

    • (1)

      The evidence that is relevant in a proceeding is evidence that, if it were accepted, could rationally affect (directly or indirectly) the assessment of the probability of the existence of a fact in issue in the proceeding. …

Normally, even if relevant, opinions are presumptively inadmissible. Under the UEL the opinion rule (section 76) states that “evidence of an opinion” is not admissible “to prove the existence of a fact about the existence of which the opinion was expressed”. This means that witnesses cannot usually express their opinions about issues relevant to facts in dispute during proceedings. There are, however, several exceptions to the exclusionary impact of the opinion rule.2 Although it does not attempt to codify the common law, section 79(1) provides the major exception for expert opinion evidence. It reads:

  • 79 Exception: opinions based on specialised knowledge

    • (1)

      If a person has specialised knowledge based on the person’s training, study or experience, the opinion rule does not apply to evidence of an opinion of that person that is wholly or substantially based on the knowledge.

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Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
Chang-Tsun Li, Anthony T.S. Ho
Chapter 1
Roberto Caldelli, Irene Amerini, Francesco Picchioni
Digital images are generated by different sensors, understanding which kind of sensor has acquired a certain image could be crucial in many... Sample PDF
A DFT-Based Analysis to Discern Between Camera and Scanned Images
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Chapter 2
Irene Amerini, Roberto Caldelli, Vito Cappellini, Francesco Picchioni, Alessandro Piva
Identification of the source that has generated a digital content is considered one of the main open issues in multimedia forensics community. The... Sample PDF
Estimate of PRNU Noise Based on Different Noise Models for Source Camera Identification
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Chapter 3
H. R. Chennamma, Lalitha Rangarajan
A digitally developed image is a viewable image (TIFF/JPG) produced by a camera’s sensor data (raw image) using computer software tools. Such images... Sample PDF
Source Camera Identification Based on Sensor Readout Noise
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Chapter 4
Xi Zhao, Anthony T.S. Ho, Yun Q. Shi
In the past few years, semi-fragile watermarking has become increasingly important to verify the content of images and localise the tampered areas... Sample PDF
Image Forensics Using Generalised Benford’s Law for Improving Image Authentication Detection Rates in Semi-Fragile Watermarking
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Chapter 5
Roland Kwitt, Peter Meerwald, Andreas Uhl
In this paper, the authors adapt two blind detector structures for additive spread-spectrum image watermarking to the host signal characteristics of... Sample PDF
Blind Detection of Additive Spread-Spectrum Watermarking in the Dual-Tree Complex Wavelet Transform Domain
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Chapter 6
Yaqing Niu, Sridhar Krishnan, Qin Zhang
Perceptual Watermarking should take full advantage of the results from human visual system (HVS) studies. Just noticeable distortion (JND), which... Sample PDF
Spatio-Temporal Just Noticeable Distortion Model Guided Video Watermarking
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Chapter 7
B. R. Matam, David Lowe
This paper addresses the security of a specific class of common watermarking methods based on Dither modulation-quantisation index modulation... Sample PDF
Watermark-Only Security Attack on DM-QIM Watermarking: Vulnerability to Guided Key Guessing
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Chapter 8
Niall McGrath, Pavel Gladyshev, Joe Carthy
When encrypted material is discovered during a digital investigation and the investigator cannot decrypt the material then he or she is faced with... Sample PDF
Cryptopometry as a Methodology for Investigating Encrypted Material
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Chapter 9
Qiming Li, Sujoy Roy
A robust hash function allows different parties to extract a consistent key from a common fuzzy source, e.g., an image gone through noisy channels... Sample PDF
Secure Robust Hash Functions and Their Applications in Non-Interactive Communications
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Chapter 10
Natthawut Samphaiboon, Matthew N. Dailey
Steganography, or communication through covert channels, is desirable when the mere existence of an encrypted message might cause suspicion or... Sample PDF
Steganography in Thai Text
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Chapter 11
Jin Liu, Hefei Ling, Fuhao Zou, WeiQi Yan, Zhengding Lu
In this paper, the authors investigate the prospect of using multi-resolution histograms (MRH) in conjunction with digital image forensics... Sample PDF
Digital Image Forensics Using Multi-Resolution Histograms
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Chapter 12
Jonathan Weir, Raymond Lau, WeiQi Yan
In this paper, the authors splice together an image which has been split up on a piece of paper by using duplication detection. The nearest pieces... Sample PDF
Digital Image Splicing Using Edges
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Chapter 13
Kosta Haltis, Matthew J. Sorell, Russell Brinkworth
Biological vision systems are capable of discerning detail as well as detecting objects and motion in a wide range of highly variable lighting... Sample PDF
A Biologically Inspired Smart Camera for Use in Surveillance Applications
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Chapter 14
Moussadek Laadjel, Ahmed Bouridane, Fatih Kurugollu, WeiQi Yan
This paper introduces a new technique for palmprint recognition based on Fisher Linear Discriminant Analysis (FLDA) and Gabor filter bank. This... Sample PDF
Palmprint Recognition Based on Subspace Analysis of Gabor Filter Bank
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Chapter 15
Gary Edmond
This article examines the standards governing the admission of new types of expert evidence. Based on the rules of evidence and procedure in... Sample PDF
Suspect Sciences?: Evidentiary Problems with Emerging Technologies
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Chapter 16
Kevin Curran, Andrew Robinson, Stephen Peacocke, Sean Cassidy
During the past decade, technological advances in mobile phones and the development of smart phones have led to increased use and dependence on the... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone Forensic Analysis
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Chapter 17
Michael Davis, Alice Sedsman
Cloud computing has been heralded as a new era in the evolution of information and communications technologies. ICT giants have invested heavily in... Sample PDF
Grey Areas: The Legal Dimensions of Cloud Computing
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Chapter 18
Gian Piero Zarri
This paper concerns the use of in-depth analytical/conceptual techniques pertaining to the Artificial Intelligence domain to deal with narrative... Sample PDF
A Conceptual Methodology for Dealing with Terrorism “Narratives”
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