POLICE Magazine

FEB 2014

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: http://policemag.epubxp.com/i/256057

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 68

to focus your investigation and move it forward. T e data can also serve as cor- roborative or exculpatory evidence, along with mobile carrier data. FIRST-PERSON STATEMENTS The victim who reports a sexual as- sault, stalking, child exploitation, hate incident, or other crime should be en- couraged to release his or her mobile devices for evidence extraction. You can mine the data—both what you can see and what you can't—to uncover impor- tant people and patterns. Facts around a victim's communications and locations can help ref ne a fuzzy memory or f ll in blanks during interviews, and can even identify potential suspects. Call and text-messaging logs, social media conversations (both public and private), instant messaging, and e-mails can help you pinpoint the most impor- tant people in the victim's life. Daily ver- 32 POLICE FEBRUARY 2014 F ollowing a violent crime (and, in many cases, property or f nan- cial crimes), the insights into the things a victim was doing, the people he or she met or communicated with, and the places the person went can all provide critical insights into how the crime came to happen. However, these insights can be limited when they rely solely on statements from the victim's known associates, witnesses, and other sources. It is generally accepted that memories can be limited or inaccu- rate, especially in traumatized victims or witnesses, and context can be completely missing, even from victims themselves. Often the victim's mobile device(s) can f ll in the blanks. Smartphones, GPS devices, and other mobile media can be good starting points in any investigation, whether the victim is alive or deceased. T e existing, deleted, and hidden data stored on them can help you develop leads PHOTOS COURTESY CELLEBRITE sus weekly contacts, as well as those with whom communication is sporadic, can help you identify potential leads. T e frequency of communications can also be important. In stalking and human traf cking cases, many incoming text messages and phone calls received—but not returned—on a daily basis can help establish the existence of controlling be- havior. T ey might also indicate business arrangements in human traf cking or narcotics cases. Communication methods can deliver insights, too. T e people whom the vic- tim most often text-message may not be the same as those he or she calls, IMs, or e-mails. For example, the child victim of a pedophile may regularly text-message his or her parents and friends via WhatsApp or the device's internal SMS software, but only use Kik Messenger, SnapChat, or oth- er app to communicate with the abuser. Timelines are another key piece of any investigation that can benef t from mobile device data. Aside from helping to f ll in gaps in memory (as well as gaps left be- tween ATM or store receipts, surveillance camera footage, and other sources), mo- bile data can provide context for a victim's pre-, during-, and post-incident timelines. For example, knowing that a stalker or child abuser IMs, texts, and/or calls the victim at certain times each day can help to establish the signif cance of those times. For instance, the abuser may have that period of from work, or may know enough of the victim's life patterns to know what times he or she is at his or her most vulnerable. Combine timelines with location data to determine travel patterns, both normal and abnormal. Well-worn routines might have been used against a victim in some cases. In others, signif cant departures MOBILE VICTIMOLOGY DATA RECOVERED FROM A VICTIM'S MOBILE DEVICE CAN IDENTIFY LEADS, REVEAL BEHAVIOR PATTERNS, AND CONTEXTUALIZE OTHER EVIDENCE. CHRISTA M. MILLER P O 0 2 1 4 _ C y b e r c r i m e . i n d d 3 2 PO0214_Cybercrime.indd 32 1 / 2 7 / 1 4 4 : 4 5 P M 1/27/14 4:45 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of POLICE Magazine - FEB 2014