23 May 1998

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 10:54 +0100 (BST)
From: hcorn@cix.co.uk (Peter Sommer)
Subject: Computer Evidence Master Seminar
To: ukcrypto@maillist.ox.ac.uk

(updated information ...)

Proving Computer Crime: Admissibility, Experts and Presentation
A Master Seminar
LSE Computer Security Research Centre and QMW's Computer-Related Crime
Research Centre

Friday May 29, 1998

Venue: Room A85, Old Building,  London School of Economics, Houghton
Street, WC2A 2AE

Computer evidence used to be limited to simple print-out. For many years
now law enforcement officers have been seizing computers and data media,
carrying out complex investigations and producing exhibits. Specialist
forensic engineers are claiming to be able to recover lost and concealed
material. The growth of bulletin boards and Internet websites has created
problems of collecting offending files from remote sites. It is possible
to monitor a wide range of activities as they take place on the Internet
and other networks.

Laws such as the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988 and in particular
the Computer Misuse Act 1990 with its emphasis on unauthorised access and
unauthorised data modification have forced the criminal courts to consider
the inner processes of computers as well as simple print-out. These
issues have spread forward into the prosecution of other groups of
offences, including fraud, forgery and pornography.

G8 - the Group of Eight Industrialised Democracies - have also identified
the need for an action plan to cover High-Tech crime which, among other
things,  potentially addresses the issues of the collection,
authentication and analysis of computer-derived evidence.  However the
action plan, identified both at the Washington G8 meeting in December 1997
and at the Birmingham Summit in May 1998, does not appear to have moved
from ambition to specifics.

A range of forensic procedures and practices, including the development of
specialist imaging hardware, has grown up informally and has met with
sporadic and inconsistent objections when presented before the courts.
For lawyers the challenge is often to pick a difficult route through the
complex rules distinguishing admissibility and probative value and to find
ways in which juries can be helped to understand unfamiliar raw material
and technical terminology. For prosecution and defence alike the
recruitment of appropriate experts present difficulties of initial
choice and continuing  management; defence lawyers additionally have to be
concerned with justifying the costs to the Legal Aid Board.

The LSE's Computer Security Research Centre and QMW's Computer-Related
Crime Research Centre are running a one-day Master Seminar to allow
lawyers, law enforcement officers and experts to discuss the issues. It is
hoped to give prosecutors and defenders an environment in which these key
matters can be discussed in principle and away from the adversarial
context of a trial.

Each themed 45-minute session will be introduced by one or more
individuals with specific experience but thereafter it is hoped that
discussion will be extensive and open. The numbers of attendees will be
restricted so that an appropriate seminar atmosphere can develop. It
should be noted that this seminar is designed for experienced
practitioners, lawyers and law enforcement officers;  the organisers are
considering the possibility of future training-orientated seminars for
those new to the field.

A summary of an illustrative case-study will be supplied to delegates to
provide a focus for the day.

Registration 9 am to 9:30 am.  The first session begins at 9:30 am.

1. Introduction to the day's proceedings

2. Role of and instruction of experts

What is the role of the expert? What are the differences in the roles of
prosecution and defence experts in the English adversarial trial? At what
stage should the police and defence solicitors engage experts, what
attributes should they look for and how should they define the scope of
the instructions? How should they continue to manage the scope of the
instructions as matters progress to trial? Legal Aid issues.

3-4. Types of evidence, practical issues of collection, provenance and 
formal procedures

How far is it possible to devise formal procedures for the handling of
computer evidence, from seizure of computers and data media through to the
production of print-outs as exhibits? What types of witness statements
should be required in support? What steps are required to demonstrate
proper working of a computer? How far can print-outs be edited in order to
make them clearer to juries? What is the role of specialist disk imaging
hardware? What techniques are appropriate to capturing data in
transmission, or data held on remote computers?

5. Admissibility of Evidence

What is the present state of the law of admissibility of evidence from
computer systems? How is the law applied in practical situations? What is
the role of the voir dire? What are the limits of the definitions of
"document"?  How far is forensically recovered material admissible? What
will  be the likely practical impact of the proposed reforms and in
particular the  proposed abolition of s 69 of the Police and Criminal
Evidence Act 1984? Do special provisions for disclosure of evidence need
to be made for computer-derived materials?

6. Court Presentation

What particular issues arise in presenting highly complex technical
material  to a lay jury? What appropriate tricks of presentation  exist
for advocates? How do experts balance the need for simplicity and clarity
in explanation against accuracy and completeness? How do experts avoid
being asked to comment on ultimate issue? What are benefits and hazards
of court-room demonstrations of computer processes and activities?

7. Matters for Officers of the Court

Even when all of the technical matters are clearly understood and
explained,  there still remain questions of law and procedure which will
be of major concern to Counsel and their instructing Solicitors. This
session will  address some of those questions, and will also widen the
scope of the discussion to include issues which arise when evidence is
obtained from and  by the practices of foreign jurisdictions.

Invited Participants

Participants are expected to include:

   John Austen,  former Head of the Metropolitan Police Computer Crime
   Richard Cox,  telecommunications consultant
   Dennis Jackson,  UK Computer Emergency Response Team
   Robert Jones,  QMW
   Alistair Kelman,  Barrister
   Peter Sommer,  LSE,  Virtual City Associates
   Peter Stage, Barrister
   Ian Walden,  QMW,  Bird & Bird
   Ed Wilding,  Network Security Management

However,  if court engagements prevent the attendance of some speakers
substitutes may be introduced.

The seminar qualifies for 5 hours of Law Society Continuing Professional


   Tel: +44 171 975 5326 Fax +44 181 980 2001
   Web pages: http://csrc.lse.ac.uk/csrc/evidsem.htm 

Fee structure:

Rates for booking prior to May 1 1998

   regular attendance: £120 + vat  = £141.00
   law enforcement officers, sole practitioners £50  + vat = £58.75

Rates for booking after  May 1 1998
   regular attendance: £150 + vat  = £176.25
   law enforcement officers, sole practitioners £75  + vat = £88.13

Please send your completed booking form, together with a cheque
made payable to Queen Mary & Westfield College, to:

Lorraine Mulpeter
Centre for Commercial Law Studies 
Queen Mary & Westfield College
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS


A VAT invoice will be issued upon receipt. All bookings carry a 50%
cancellation charge under the terms outlined below.  Cancellations and
Substitutions: All bookings carry a 50% liability immediately after the
booking has been made and up to 21 days before the  conference date. There
will be no refund for cancellations received 21 days  or less prior to the
conference. If any delegate is unable to attend a substitution may be made
at any time. All substitutions and name changes must be made in writing by
mail or fax.

Indemnity: It may be necessary for reason beyond the control of the
seminar organisers to change the content, timing, speakers or venue of the
programme. Should the venue or speakers change for any reason outside the
control of the seminar organisers, or the event be cancelled owing to act
of terrorism or extreme weather conditions or industrial action, the
seminar organisers shall endeavour to reschedule the event by the client
hereby indemnifies and hold harmless from and against any and all costs,
damages and expenses including attorney fees which are incurred by the

|---->   Peter Sommer   ------------------------------------------->|
|---->   hcorn@cix.co.uk   P.M.Sommer@lse.ac.uk  ------------------>|
|---->   Academic URL:  http://csrc.lse.ac.uk/csrc/pmscv.htm  ----->|
|---->   Commercial URL:  http://www.virtualcity.co.uk  ----------->|