1. The importance of digital evidence and the difficulty of preserving it
Internet technology is booming, and mobile devices are occupying most of the lives of modern
people. As people's lifestyle changes, the place or method of crime is no longer limited to
the physical world, and the proportion of
crime in the virtual world is growing. When a perpetrator commits a crime through mobile
phones, computers, and network equipment, although "everything has to leave a trace", the
search and preservation of digital evidence
also needs to be accompanied by technological changes.
Digital evidence in the virtual world is not directly perceived and managed like traditional
evidence. Digital evidence is stored in device equipment. This is unlike physical evidence,
where it can be stored and monitored in the
physical space. As a result, digital evidence is more difficult to control. In the process
of transferring evidence, it may be tampered with by unauthorized actors or external
intruders. This could result in the reading, copying,
altering, or even deleting of the digital evidence, thus often bringing digital evidence's
evidential strength under question.
2. Blockchains's attributes can effectively address the difficulty of maintaining
digital evidence's evidential strength.
Blockchain, through its attributes, happens to effectively solve the problem of the digital
evidence's evidential strength. Bitcoin began to gain popularity in 2009, after which
blockchain gradually got noticed. Blockchain is a
system of decentralized and distributed records. Possessing certain important attributes
enables it to address many doubts about the above-mentioned digital evidence. The following
briefly describes blockchain's attributes
and the problems they solve:
1. Decentralization - Distribute storage of digital evidence so to eliminate risk of
information loss Through multiple nodes' independent operations storing the same data, no
central management unit or mechanism is needed. The
algorithm is used to synchronize the data and store it on multiple nodes ensuring the
security of digital evidence storage.
2. Tamper-Proof - Digital evidence integrity and accuracy Once the data is written to the
blockchain, it is permanently stored there and will not be modifiable. In addition, after
writing to each block is completed, the hash value
of the block will be written to the next block and gets synchronized to all nodes.
Therefore, if the original digital evidence gets modified, its hash value can easily be
verified. This way, the integrity and accuracy of the
digital evidence can be confirmed.
3. Public Chain Anchoring - Digital evidence full transparency Public Chain Anchoring -
Digital evidence full transparency In order to eliminate any doubts about the private
chain's transparency, we anchor a fixed number of digital
evidence records to the public chain so to confirm their time sequence. If there is a
mismatch with the past blocks' data, we will then know the information has been tampered