Computer Forensics Needed to Pin Down GMA

Computer Forensics,GMA,PSAThe Aquino administration’s drive against corruption may need computer forensics to support the allegations against the Arroyo administration, a multinational risk consultancy said.

In a report dated Dec. 22, the Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA) said those involved in crimes like poll sabotage and plunder are secretive and are careful about avoiding a paper trail.

“Computer forensics might hold the key to finding the needed evidence,” said PSA managing director Scott Harrison.

“With the expanding use of computers and digital media in everyday transactions, evidence of criminal activities left in computers and other digital equipment clearly enhances court evidentiary procedures,” he added.

PSA though disclosed in the report that it is one of the companies practicing information technology (IT) forensics in the country. The company also has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Sydney and Milwaukee.

PSA said money laundering and convoluted business structures created to hide wrongdoing “increasingly require digital investigative techniques to prove a criminal case.”

“The majority of corruption cases in the Philippines are often hampered because much of the presented evidence is hearsay accusations of one or more people against others. Consequently languishing corruption cases are often dismissed or shelved due to a lack of concrete evidence,” Harrison said.

PSA said not one member of the Arroyos or their alleged co-conspirators in poll cheating and corruption have been convicted by the courts since President Aquino assumed office in 2010.

“The lack of investigative resources in the Philippines judicial system may prove to be a bigger impediment to President Aquino’s efforts to weed out corruption than the administration’s frustration with the Supreme Court,” the report read.

PSA said IT forensic specialists can create a mirror image of data inside a computer system and recover deleted, encrypted, or damaged files.

PSA claimed the recovery and analysis of hard disk drives, mobile phones and portable digital storage devices believed to be involved in crime are “critical digital evidence” that can boost one’s legal position in court.