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February 10, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery on Your iPhone

Divorce_cupidThe smarter smartphones get expect their desirability to grow as treasure troves of digital divorce evidence. According to a post on AllThingsD, a smartphone is a divorce lawyer's perfect partner when it comes to procuring electronic evidence.

A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers finds 94% of the country's top divorce lawyers reporting an upturn over the past three years in the use of iPhones, Androids, and other smartphones as evidence in divorce cases.

Sixty-two percent of the evidence comes from not-so-surreptitious text messages, 23% from emails, 13% from call histories and phone numbers, and a mere 1% drawing on web searches and GPS. Given the number of social media apps on mobile devices, you might expect greater use of social media as smartphone evidence, but social media use may have been folded into another survey

There are no recorded instances of iPhone 4S users having virtual personal assistant Siri testify against its master or mistress, but one message should be clear: Digital evidence doesn't dissolve as easily as many marriages do.

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January 18, 2012

The Growing Mobile Forensic Headache

Trying to acquire and analyze data from over 5,000 models and clones of mobile phones, PDAs, and GPS devices is no easy task. The treasure trove of data they now contain — text messages, email, call history, databases, scheduler, contacts, files, GPS waypoints, etc. — make them high value targets in e-discovery and criminal investigations.

Because of the variety, complexities, and volume of data available on mobile devices, it is more important than ever that properly trained examiners and specialized tools be used to acquire the data, says Thomas Slovenski president of Cellular Forensics.

We are also seeing new consumer tools being developed to make it easier to perform data recovery. Paraben has developed a variety of consumer tools to recover data from mobile devices such as the Phone Recovery Stick which is a USB thumb-drive that will recover deleted and other data from your Google Android phone. They also have the iRecovery Stick (iRS) for iPhones as well.

Mobile devices are quickly providing all the discovery opportunities of a standard computer and providing evidence that is not available anywhere else. For that reason, attorneys should have a basic understanding of what a mobile device can hold, where it holds it, how long it stays there and how to go about acquiring the data safely.

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