DARTMOUTH COSC 099 - DIGITAL IMAGES AS EVIDENCES (11 pages)

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DIGITAL IMAGES AS EVIDENCES



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DIGITAL IMAGES AS EVIDENCES

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Pages:
11
School:
Dartmouth College
Course:
Cosc 099 - Honors Thesis Research
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Digital Images as Evidence Karl Harris Computer Science 99 Dartmouth College February 29 2000 Introduction Digital Image Enhancement is a process in which a digital image is enhanced so that more detail can be seen This process has many applications Entertainment such as movies and art Law Enforcement It is such a new technology that the legal system is struggling with how digitally enhanced images can be used as evidence Topics of Discussion The Reginald Denny beating and trial Cognitech Inc and the future of digital image enhancement Ethical and legal ramifications of this technology The Reginald Denny Case On April 29 1992 trucker Reginald Denny is severely beaten as he leaves his truck to help other victims during the LA Riots Damian Williams and Henry Watson are charged with attempted murder Because there are no clear photos and few witnesses digital image enhancement is used by Cognitech to identify Williams as an assailant in the trial The Sequence of Events Sept 11 1993 An enhanced image showing a cheek blemish and a stain on a T shirt links Williams with a liquor store robbery and the beating Sept 15 1993 Cognitech enhances an image taken from a helicopter showing the beating It shows a tattoo of a rose on William s arm The jurors are allowed to see enlarged photos of the beating but not the enhanced images The Sequence of Events Sept 16 1993 Judge Ouderkirk rules that Cognitech s process to enhance the video is reliable enough to be used as evidence Leonid Rudin director of Cognitech testifies that there is definitely something on the man in the photo s arm and that it is consistent with Williams tattoo When asked if he knew if the spot was grease dirt or a tattoo he answers that he does not Cognitech and the Future After the Denny Case Cognitech s top executives believed there could be a multi billion dollar business in image enhancement for law enforcement There are many applications Video surveillance in convenience stores parking garages and ATM machines Insurance claims Acquittals What is the Law An original of a writing or recording is the writing or recording itself or any counterpart intended to have the same effect by a person executing or issuing it An original of a photograph includes the negative or any print therefrom If data are stored in a computer or similar device any printout or other output readable by sight shown to reflect the data accurately is an original Federal Rules of Evidence Ethical and Legal Implications Digitex digital editing and special effects used to manipulate images With digitex even experts will be unable to determine if images have been altered Judges exclude all photographic evidence New ethical situations Wrongful convictions or acquittals due to mistakes in the image enhancement To what extreme do we go What can be done Keep the source media intact showing the original directory with dates files sizes and names generated by the camera Find better ways of analyzing digital images to detect tampering Make better and newer laws Without a clear legal precedence the is no framework to start from Summary The Reginald Denny case brings into question the use of digitally enhanced images as evidence in court The Federal Rules of Evidence say a digital image enhanced or not is just as good as a photograph from film There are many dangers associated with admitting digital images as evidence in a trial


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