The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


As digital evidence grows in both volume and importance in criminal and civil courts, judges need to fairly and justly evaluate the merits of the offered evidence. To do so, judges need a general understanding of the underlying technologies and applications from which digital evidence is derived. Due to the relative newness of the computer forensics field, there have been few studies on the use of digital forensic evidence and none about judges’ relationship with digital evidence. This paper describes a recent study, using grounded theory methods, into judges’ awareness, knowledge, and perceptions of digital evidence. This study is the first in the U.S. to examine judges and digital forensics, thus opening up a new avenue of research. It is the second time that grounded theory has been employed in a published digital forensics study, demonstrating the applicability of that methodology to this discipline. This paper describes the process of grounded theory, a high-level summary of results, and conclusions from the study.


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