Cloudy Laws II – Only 65 Challenges to eDiscovery Forensics in the Cloud

Among the many types of challenges presented by the adoption of cloud computing are those involving computer forensics. Computer forensics can be thought of as the set of tools and techniques that make eDiscovery possible and reliable. It is defined in Wikipedia as, “a branch of digital forensic science pertaining to legal evidence found in computers and digital storage media.” The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) defines cloud computing forensic science more specifically as, the application of scientific principles, technological practices and derived and proven methods to reconstruct past cloud computing events through identification, collection, preservation, examination, interpretation and reporting of digital evidence As with other legal evidence, digital evidence is subject to challenge in court. It has to be what it purports to be. Therefore, the accurate identification of the creator, custodian, chain of custody, authenticity and other attributes of digital evidence is essential in any eDiscovery setting. Essentially, a computer forensic investigation must locate and identify “documents” and other information that can be traced to the actions, knowledge and information available to parties and other witnesses involved in a lawsuit, arbitration or investigation While a number of technical tools and techniques have been developed to …

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Cloudy Laws – Cloud Computing Security and Legal Challenges

Cloud computing presents innumerable opportunities and brings with it enormous security and legal challenges. While there is no single accepted definition of the “cloud,” the National Institute of Standards and Technology created a reference model in 2011. NIST defined cloud computing by describing its five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models. (NIST Special Publication 800-145) Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Essential Characteristics Service Models Deployment Models On demand self service Broad network access Resource Pooling Rapid Elasticity Measured Service Software as a Service (SaaS) Platform as a Service (PaaS) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Private Cloud Community Cloud Public Cloud Hybrid Cloud The rapid increase in the availability of cloud computing solutions ranging from Enterprise systems, to Office 365, to the ad hoc use of unencrypted Dropbox accounts, has profound implications for privacy, information security, eDiscovery and legally defensible document retention policies. Hardly a day passes without news of another serious security breach or weakness. The security risks and the costs of misjudgments, mistakes or …

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LocationGate – Where in the World Was Waldo?

Just look at his iPhone data Apparently I am not the only person troubled by the 2011 revelation that Google and Apple collect location data from smart phones.  Mike Elgan wrote a thoughtful piece for Computerworld. Who owns your location? – Computerworld The idea of tracking files existing on phones and on the computers used to synch data raises eDiscovery issues as well as obvious privacy and data security concerns.  Will employers be tempted to look at the data collected by company issued phones to see if their sales team or delivery drivers were on task?  Employers defending discrimination cases are always on the lookout for employee misconduct that would justify termination of employment on non-discriminatory grounds.  Did she lie to the boss about that sick day as shown by the trip to the Foxwoods Casino? Warrantless Searches A January 2011 decision by the California Supreme Court held that police may make a warrantless search of a person’s cell phone incident to a lawful arrest – in California.  In the opinion, the court considers and dismisses the privacy argument: Regarding the quantitative analysis of defendant and the dissent, the salient point of the high court‟s decisions is that a “lawful custodial arrest …

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