This case involves a middle-aged woman who was accused of downloading a high volume of illegal content to her personal laptop computer. It was alleged that the woman used an IP tracing software program that was given to her by the police. It was alleged that someone else downloaded the illegal files while this program was active. An expert in digital forensics was sought to discuss the availability of this software program to the public.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please explain your experience working in digital forensics.
- 2. Are you familiar with IP tracing software?
- 3. Is this software normally available to the public? Please explain.
Expert Witness Response E-074587
I have a lot of experience in this area and can examine the forensic report and the computer in question. The police do use modified BitTorrent software to track and determine the IP address and a user GUID for the software that the user installed. However, the police don’t give the person a program. The key would be what steps they went to for the client to be on their radar in the first place, and then what did they do to put the client in the driver seat when the activity happened. Where the files were stored on the computer is important as well, as is the log files that show whether the downloads were actually viewed. The method that the police use is aided by their ability to get IP data from the ISPs. The trick is something that any third party can do as the downloading software typically exposes the user, that is the nature of P2P sharing.