Computer Crime Research Center


Investigating Computer Crimes

Date: May 27, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Natalya Akhtyrskaya

Defense lawyers have right to collect information according to newly accepted Criminal Codes in some CIS countries. Defense attorney may independently view and take pictures of the crime scene or separate objects, to make a plan, a scheme of the area. These results may be used as grounds to apply for examination of other investigative (forensic) procedures. They favour better preparations to participation in these activities. Photos and schemes increase cogency of the application.

At the same time, defense lawyer cannot refer to data obtained or facts revealed during examination conducted by him as they do not have evidential significance.

Data received by law enforcement agencies quite often favour revealing, disclosing, preventing crimes, successful investigation and judicial inquiry. Operational orienting data may be used as evidence in the court if they are proved during examination.

Auxiliary information is used in legal proceedings besides evidential and operational orienting data. It is contained in samples used for comparative examination (samples of handwritings, blood, shot bullets). Such samples are used to solve diagnostic (recognizing) and identification tasks.

This division of information into evidential, operational orienting and auxiliary is important but it is not the only classification of the examined object. Such classification may be applied for different reasons according to two approaches: 1) by signs of information and its relation to features and elements of the event, 2) by relation to signs of the cognitive system, i.e. search cognitive activity.

Within frames of the first system (by signs of information) there are several relatively autonomous structures by the following arguments:

- by kinds of cognizable events: information on crimes, information on other cognizable events;
- by content: reliable information, misinformation (false, deliberately invalid data);
- by volume: full (irrefragable), incomplete information;
- by form of reflection: ideal (psychic) information, material fixed information;
- by physical nature: visual, acoustic, tactile, and olfactory;
- by degree of accessibility: open, restricted;
- by sphere of distribution: information for broad masses of population, information for separate categories;
- by social status: official, non-official;
- by usage mode: open, closed (confidential);
- by origin: natural, modeling;
- by level of perception: obvious, latent;
- by form of representation: verbal, alphabetical-alphanumerical, graphical, digital, magnetic recording, other;
- by specific distribution of information mediums: personal (homologous), subject, documentary, and also information contained in narcotic, radioactive and other substances;
- by event's elements: subjective, objective, and other;
- by kind of sources: information from origin, from derivative sources.

One of the most important conditions to improve activity of operational structures is to strengthen informational relations between police divisions. In this view it is necessary to elaborate Statute on fundamentals of cooperation between services and police departments.

Last years, law enforcement agencies are more and more widely involved in joint work to fight international criminality. Therefore we may classify information also into national and international.

With the purpose to efficiently collect information using procedural methods on facts related to violating of computer system operation it is expedient:
- to unify meanings of procedural proving;
- to define admissibility of evidence obtained by operational methods;
- to define relevance of information;
- to determine a circle of persons who participate in gathering information, i.e. presence of the defense lawyer during examination of crime scene or during search, particularly in crime cases related to examination or seizure of computer facilities (it is not envisaged by Ukrainian law);
- to secure possibility of gathering evidence by the defense lawyer (laws provides only for representing of proofs, though deprives right to collect them).

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