February 09, 2014

Digital Evidence journal is now open source!

Stephen Mason, the world's foremost expert on the topic, writes (edited for style):

The entire Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review is now available as open source for free here:

Current Issue         Archives

All of the articles are also available via university library electronic subscription services which require accounts:

EBSCO Host         HeinOnline         v|lex (has abstracts)

If you know of anybody that might have the knowledge to consider submitting an article to the journal, please feel free to let them know of the journal.

This is significant news for the professional financial cryptographer! For those who are interested in what all this means, this is the real stuff. Let me explain.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a little thing called the electronic signature, and its RSA cousin, the digital signature. Businesses, politicians, spooks and suppliers dreamed that they could inspire a world-wide culture of digitally signing your everything with a hand wave, with the added joy of non-repudiation.

They failed, and we thank our lucky stars for it. People do not want to sign away their life every time some little plastic card gets too close to a scammer, and thankfully humanity had the good sense to reject the massively complicated infrastructure that was built to enslave them.

However, a suitably huge legacy of that folly was the legislation around the world to regulate the use of electronic signatures -- something that Stephen Mason has catalogued here.

In contrast to the nuisance level of electronic signatures, in parallel, a separate development transpired which is far more significant. This was the increasing use of digital techniques to create trails of activity, which led to the rise of digital evidence, and its eventual domination in legal affairs.

Digital discovery is now the main act, and the implications have been huge if little understated outside legal circles, perhaps because of the persistent myth in technology circles that without digital signatures, evidence was worth less.

Every financial cryptographer needs to understand the implications of digital evidence, because without this wisdom, your designs are likely crap. They will fail when faced with real-world trials, in both senses of the word.

I can't write the short primer on digital evidence for you -- I'm not the world's expert, Stephen is! -- but I can /now/ point you to where to read.That's just one huge issue, hitherto locked away behind a hugely dominating paywall. Browse away at all 10 issues!

Posted by iang at February 9, 2014 02:47 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Hit preview to see your comment as it would be displayed.