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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Microsoft PhotoDNA Cloud Service
Microsoft began sharing the first release of PhotoDNA as an on-premise technology in 2009. Since then, this technology has helped curb the exploitation of children around the world by detecting millions of illegal images for reporting to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other appropriate authorities.

Does Microsoft keep the images they find?? No. Content remains on the persons device; However the Images that are found are instantly converted into secure hashes (algorithm functions) that cannot be reverse engineered(scrambled can not be view). Why isn't law enforcement utilizing this software on P2P networks? The main reason, after eliminating all other factors is law enforcement arrest these so called alleged CP predators because it advances their political agenda. One of the best ways of protecting children from pornographers is to put the public in the picture.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Governing Pornography & child Pornography The UK Approach

Governing Pornography & child Pornography The UK Approach

Who is the Witness to an Internet Crime: The Confrontation Clause, Digital Forensics, and Child Pornography by Merritt Baer

Who is the Witness to an Internet Crime: The Confrontation Clause, Digital Forensics, and Child Pornography by Merritt Baer



The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending by Jérôme Endrass, Frank Urbaniok, Lea C Hammermeister, Christian Benz, Thomas Elbert, Arja Laubacher and Astrid Rossegger

The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending by Jérôme Endrass, Frank Urbaniok, Lea C Hammermeister, Christian Benz, Thomas Elbert, Arja Laubacher and Astrid Rossegger

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Too far down the Yellow Brick Road – Cyber-hysteria and Virtual Porn, by Maureen Johnson, Kevin M Rogers

Too far down the Yellow Brick Road – Cyber-hysteria and Virtual Porn, by Maureen Johnson, Kevin M Rogers

Intermediary Liability and Child Pornography: A Comparative Analysis Anjali Anchayil & Arun Mattamana

Intermediary Liability and Child Pornography; A Comparative Analysis by Anjali Anchayil & Arun Mattamana











Friday, July 10, 2015

Has The Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army? By John Whitehead

Has The Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?
If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies.
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

“Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

To Kenny’s list, I will add the following: The menace of a national police force, a.k.a. a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored. Indeed, as the following list shows, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.

Militarizing police and SWAT teams. The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, “paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams.” The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war—and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.

Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans. In 2009, DHS released three infamous reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” and another entitled Operation Vigilant Eagle, outlining a surveillance program targeting veterans. The reports collectively and broadly define extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.” In 2013, it was revealed that DHS, the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies, and the private sector were working together to conduct nationwide surveillance on protesters’ First Amendment activities.

Stockpiling ammunition. DHS, along with other government agencies, has been stockpiling an alarming amount of ammunition in recent years, which only adds to the discomfort of those already leery of the government. As of 2013, DHS had 260 million rounds of ammo in stock, which averages out to between 1,300 to 1,600 rounds per officer. The US Army, in contrast, has roughly 350 rounds per soldier. DHS has since requisitioned more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, “enough,” concludes Forbes magazine, “to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.”

Distributing license plate readers. DHS has already distributed more than $50 million in grants to enable local police agencies to acquire license plate readers, which rely on mobile cameras to photograph and identify cars, match them against a national database, and track their movements. Relying on private contractors to maintain a license plate database allows the DHS and its affiliates to access millions of records without much in the way of oversight.

Contracting to build detention camps. In 2006, DHS awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to build detention centers on American soil. Although the government and Halliburton were not forthcoming about where or when these domestic detention centers would be built, they rationalized the need for them in case of “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs” in the event of other emergencies such as “natural disasters.” Viewed in conjunction with the NDAA provision allowing the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone, including American citizens, it would seem the building blocks are already in place for such an eventuality.

Tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices. Distributed to local police agencies as a result of grants from the DHS, these Stingray devices enable police to track individuals’ cell phones—and their owners—without a court warrant or court order. The amount of information conveyed by these devices about one’s activities, whereabouts and interactions is considerable. As one attorney explained: “Because we carry our cellphones with us virtually everywhere we go, stingrays can paint a precise picture of where we are and who we spend time with, including our location in a lover’s house, in a psychologist’s office or at a political protest.”

Carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities. Each year, DHS funds military-style training drills in cities across the country. These Urban Shield exercises, elaborately staged with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims, fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, bystanders and the media into thinking it’s a real crisis.

Using the TSA as an advance guard. The TSA now searches a variety of government and private databases, including things like car registrations and employment information, in order to track travelers’ before they ever get near an airport. Other information collected includes “tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information.”

Conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners. Under the direction of the TSA, American travelers have been subjected to all manner of searches ranging from whole-body scanners and enhanced patdowns at airports to bag searches in train stations. In response to public outrage over what amounted to a virtual strip search, the TSA has begun replacing the scanners with equally costly yet less detailed models. The old scanners will be used by prisons for now.

Carrying out soft target checkpoints. VIPR task forces, comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams have laid the groundwork for the government’s effort to secure so-called “soft” targets such as malls, stadiums, bridges, etc. Some security experts predict that checkpoints and screening stations will eventually be established at all soft targets, such as department stores, restaurants, and schools. DHS’ Operation Shield, a program which seeks to check up on security protocols around the country with unannounced visits, conducted a surprise security exercise at the Social Security Administration building in Leesburg, Fla., when they subjected people who went to pick up their checks to random ID checks by federal agents armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Directing government workers to spy on Americans. Terrorism Liaison Officers are firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees who have received training to spy on and report back to government entities on the day-to-day activities of their fellow citizens. These individuals are authorized to report “suspicious activity” which can include such innocuous activities as taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs, and buying items in bulk.

Conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers. Data collecting agencies spread throughout the country, aided by the National Security Agency, fusions centers—of which there are at least 78 scattered around the U.S.— constantly monitor our communications, collecting and cataloguing everything from our internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails. This data is then fed to government agencies, which are now interconnected: the CIA to the FBI, the FBI to local police. Despite a budget estimated to be somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion, these fusion centers have proven to be exercises in incompetence, often producing irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence, while spending millions of dollars on “flat-screen televisions, sport utility vehicles, hidden cameras and other gadgets.”

Carrying out Constitution-free border control searches. On orders from the DHS, the government’s efforts along the border have become little more than an exercise in police state power, ranging from aggressive checkpoints to the widespread use of drone technology, often used against American citizens traveling within the country. Border patrol operations occur within 100 miles of an international crossing, putting some 200 million Americans within the bounds of aggressive border patrol searches and seizures, as well as increasingly expansive drone surveillance. With 71 checkpoints found along the southwest border of the United States alone, suspicionless search and seizures on the border are rampant. Border patrol agents also search the personal electronic devices of people crossing the border without a warrant.

Funding city-wide surveillance cameras. As Charlie Savage reports for the Boston Globe, the DHS has funneled “millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a ‘surveillance society’ in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost.” These camera systems, installed on city streets, in parks and transit systems, operating in conjunction with sophisticated computer systems that boast intelligent video analytics, digital biometric identification, military-pedigree software for analyzing and predicting crime and facial recognition software, create a vast surveillance network that can target millions of innocent individuals.

Utilizing drones and other spybots. The DHS has been at the forefront of funding and deploying surveillance robots and drones for land, sea and air, including robots that resemble fish and tunnel-bots that can travel underground. Despite repeated concerns over the danger surveillance drones used domestically pose to Americans’ privacy rights, the DHS has continued to expand its fleet of Predator drones, which come equipped with video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. DHS also loans its drones out to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for a variety of tasks, although the agency refuses to divulge any details as to how, why and in what capacity these drones are being used by police. Incredibly, the DHS has also been handing out millions of dollars in grants to local police agencies to “accelerate the adoption” of drones in their localities.

It’s not difficult to see why the DHS has been described as a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast.” If it is a beast, however, it is a beast that is accelerating our nation’s transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, a.k.a. national police force.

This, too, is nothing new. Historically, as I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the establishment of a national police force has served as a fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity, from Hitler’s all-too-real Nazi Germany to George Orwell’s fictional Oceania. Whether fictional or historical, however, the calling cards of these national police agencies remain the same: brutality, inhumanity, corruption, intolerance, rigidity, and bureaucracy—in other words, evil.
This commentary was published with permission from the Rutherford Institute.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The state must announce the child to be the most valuable fortune of the individuals. fg

The state must announce the child to be the most valuable fortune of the individuals. fg

People actually believe they themselves are immune ; FG

People actually believe they themselves are immune ; FG
People actually believe they themselves are immune ; FG

Personality Disorders............. False Claims of Abuse
Personality Disorders
Personality Disorders

False Claims of Abuse


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) DSM contains a standard classification of mental disorders used by health care professionals in the United States. It also contains a collection of accurate public health care statistics and to provide accurate diagnostic criteria. Mental Health authorities in the United States recognize ten personality disorders. This paper briefly describes five personality disorders as they may relate to false allegations of domestic violence and abuse. My experience suggests that these disorders are a significant factor in these incidents. However, untreated Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other illness can be a factor in these incidents.

Blaming the victim is a symptom of psychological projection. For an example, Peter says that John has stolen his term paper when, in fact, he has stolen John's paper. This form of psychological projection is a common behavior of guilt where the apparent victim is really the perpetrator. So these individuals should seek the help of a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist when they believe that they or another person may have a mental health problem or personality disorder.

Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a pattern of persistent antisocial behavior that adversely affects them and others. The literature on personality disorders is not definitive and mental health practitioners may observe behaviors common to more than one disorder. So a practitioner makes a diagnosis by the exclusion of other disorders and factors (such as substance abuse). Some texts mention the lack of empathy (the ability to share and understand another's feelings, thoughts, or emotions) as a defining feature of a particular disorder.

Some abusive individuals understand the pain and emotional distress they inflict on others. Such persons feed on the distress they cause and derive pleasure from it. However, the low self-esteem theories run counter to what we know about aggressive initiators of abuse. Persons with high self-esteem might be more violent and aggressive. The reason is that they are often able to persuade others to do their bidding while they sit on the sidelines and enjoy the spectacle.

No one really knows what causes most personality disorders. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) contains a standard classification of mental disorders. This manual, published in 1994, is not the current edition. The current edition (DSM-IV-TR), published in 2000, corrects errors and reflects updates to the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) adopted by the United States Government. A summary of five personality disorders with some links to government sites appears below.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

The incidence of this disorder is higher in individuals who have an antisocial biological parent. Persons with this disorder usually have a history of antisocial behavior before age 15 such as repetitive lying, delinquency, truancy, and substance abuse. This disorder occurs more in persons whose predominate role mode had antisocial traits. Symptoms include:

1) instability, physical aggression, lacking remorse

2) superficial charisma, selfishness, and arrogance

3) repetitive lying and empty flattery

4) lack of regard for society's expectations

5) manipulative and unlawful behavior

6) promiscuity

substance abuse (inherited?)

Genetic inheritance may have some effect on the development of this disorder but research has not established how this may occur. Children who live with others who have antisocial personality traits or other personality disorders are more likely to acquire this disorder. Therefore, removing children from this environment could help in staving off the onset of this disorder. Some children are born addicted because their mother used illicit drugs and these children had no way of escaping their mother’s drug use. Prompt intervention is required because as time passes, treatment options are more limited. This means that a favorable outcome becomes less likely.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Researchers are examining the effects of childhood abandonment, abuse, and disruptive family life. Women are three times more likely than men to have this disorder. A child is 5 times more likely to acquire this disorder when one parent has it. Symptoms include:

impulsiveness about money, sexual intercourse (promiscuity), binge eating, reckless driving, or theft
abuses alcohol, drugs, or sleeping medications

1) unpredictable actions

2) unstable relationships

3) erratic mood swings

4) frequent and inappropriate displays of anger

5) self inflicted injuries

6) suicide gestures

7) dissatisfaction and feelings of boredom

8) may exhibit other traits associated with antisocial, narcissistic, histrionic personality disorders.

Interdisciplinary studies show that early childhood maltreatment appears to contribute to the onset of this disorder in some individuals. Those studies have revealed malformation and abnormal activity in areas of the brain. Those who have BPD may also frequently suffer from anxiety and severe depression. Psychotherapy combined with antidepressants and other medications may significantly improve the patient's behavior and mood. Treatment options are dependent upon the severity of the disorder and the will of the patient to improve. Due to the nature of this disorder, the prospect of improved outcome is not promising in highly affected individuals.

"Girl, Interrupted" (Columbia Pictures, 1999) is a true story of a young woman's stay at a psychiatric hospital. Psychiatrists diagnosed the woman as having Borderline Personality Disorder. She eventually recovers but first she has to confront the person within her. This is an excellent work but due its intensity, I do not recommend its viewing by children under 18.

NIMH · Borderline Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder

No one knows what causes this disorder but learned behavior and possibly genetic inheritance are thought to play a role in this disorder. This personality disorder is more often diagnosed in women. Though people with this disorder are successful socially and at work, they are unable to cope with their disappointment when romantic or intimate relationships end. They tend to over dramatize and blame others for their disappointment. Symptoms include:

1) rapidly shifting emotions with shallow facial expressions

2) low tolerance for delayed gratification

3) a need to be the center of attention

4) exaggerated emotions

5) excessive dramatics

6) constantly seeks approval

7) reacts to criticism with anger or rage

8) obsessed with personal appearance

9)  inappropriately seductive in behavior or appearance

Medication does not affect this personality disorder. However, medication can be used to treat depression and anxiety disorders that may be evident.

Munchausen Syndrome - The History

Some people have deliberately attributed Munchausen Syndrome to Baron von Munchausen [sic] who figuratively traveled about telling fantastic tales of his extraordinary (but fictitious) exploits. This is the real story that has come from my research with credit to those who added some bits and pieces to make this, an appreciable essay. Note: The change in the spelling is a result of the attempt to make the writing of the family name easier to remember.

Years ago, Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Munchhausen was the subject of a book written by Rudolph Erich Raspe. The problem was that Raspe led people to believe that his book was an autobiography written by Munchhausen. Of course, this was not the first instance of identity theft. Still Munchhausen was unable to clear his name and so he died known to the world as its biggest braggart while Raspe profited at Munchhausen’s expense.

In 1951, Richard Asher was the first to describe a pattern where individuals would engage in the self-infliction of injuries, including the fabrication of stories, to gain sympathy. Moreover, these persons would create symptoms of illness, and worsen their condition for medical care. So Asher, remembering the plight of Baron Munchhausen, named this condition, Munchausen’s Syndrome. This article appeared in ‘The Lancet’ (a British Medical Journal) in February 1951 and so this is how Baron Munchhausen gained the dubious distinction of having a syndrome named after him, Munchausen Syndrome.

The Condition

Munchausen syndrome is a condition where a person malingers by pretending or exaggerating incapacity or an illness to avoid work. Sometimes it is for the specific purpose of being treated as a medical patient. Sometimes, these individuals will self-inflict injuries on their body or use makeup or prosthetics to fabricate an illness or an injury. So Munchausen syndrome is (or can be) an adjunct to false allegations including child abuse, rape, and spousal abuse. Sometimes, it is extortion such as the ‘my way or no way’ ultimatum.

Occasionally, people use the term ‘Munchausen syndrome’ interchangeably with a factitious disorder. This disorder is characterized malingering, intentionally produced, so that a person appears sick or injured. The difference is that sometimes the ‘sick’ person is not aware of its cause and so the illness might be psychosomatic or simulated in nature resulting from neurosis.

So Munchausen syndrome may apply to a person who has a chronic variant of a factitious disorder with mostly physical signs and symptoms. The term, "psychosomatic" relates to symptoms caused by a mental or emotional disturbance. Also, unconfirmed reports about psychosomatic Munchausen syndrome have appeared in the literature. Some persons with Munchausen syndrome intentionally cause signs and symptoms of an illness or injury by self infliction, often to the point of hospitalization.

These persons are eager to undergo invasive medical interventions. So they go to doctor to doctor to satisfy their craving for this kind of attention. We know this condition to be hypochondria and it is a result of depression. According to the literature, about thirty-three illnesses and conditions commonly feigned by these persons. Those include Sexual Abuse, Spousal Abuse, and Ideation (the capacity for - or the act of forming self entertaining ideas - such as suicide). Please see the literature on this and other personality and mental disorders.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a psychological disorder where the parent (typically the mother) lies about the child's family and medical history. The mother may falsely accuse the father of child abuse or spousal abuse. She may tamper with the child’s medication and medical specimens to create an impression of child abuse, child neglect, or child sexual abuse.

This syndrome is not limited to child abuse. It also occurs as elder abuse. This is where a caretaker deliberately over medicates their charge or causes injury to the person in their care. This is often done to alienate the patient from their relatives and friends. The abuser often does this for self gratification, monetary reasons, attention, or for another purpose. However, some people are simply self-indulgent, greedy, and evil.

Medline Plus Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

Malingering and False and Self-Inflicted Injuries.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic individuals are extremely self-centered and are preoccupied with their own abilities appearance, comfort, and importance. Very few narcissists seek help. Researchers believe that the onset of this disorder occurs in early adulthood. Symptoms include:

1) pretentious sense of self-importance

2) selfish

3) exaggerates achievements and talents

4) preoccupied with personal fantasies

5) requires constant and unreasonable attention and admiration

6) takes advantage of others to achieve their own goals

7) treats others who do not please them with scorn or anger

8) reacts to criticism with anger or rage

9) cannot or will not empathize with others

10) insincere comments and behavior

11) lying and destruction of property

12) interferes with relationships between others.

Narcissists are very manipulative and clever. Some are addicted to the upset that they cause in others. Due to this addiction, the prospect of improved outcome for these individuals is poor. Otherwise, the possibility of a positive outcome varies with the severity of the disorder.

"A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story" is a true story about a California woman who has narcissistic personality disorder. This woman was accusative, manipulative, and violent. For several years she harassed and stalked her ex-husband and his wife. She claimed that the couple were abusing her but she was destroying their property and peace of mind. She bought a gun, took shooting lessons, and practiced at a shooting range. Then one night, she entered the couple's home and cold bloodedly murdered them in their sleep. She steadfastly claims that she had planned to commit suicide that night, an act that narcissist's rarely do, but ran out of bullets. She fired three bullets into her ex-husband and two bullets into his wife. Then, she ripped the telephone from its jack so that no one could use it to call for help.

Paranoid Personality Disorder

No one knows what causes this disorder but its incidence is higher in families where schizophrenia is present. People with this personality disorder are suspicious of others and they are usually unable to acknowledge their negative feelings towards others. Symptoms include:

1) poor self esteem

2) poor sense of humor

3) detachment

4) social isolation

5) inability to collaborate

6) concern with hidden motives

7) suspicious of others

8) expects to be exploited by others

9) hostility

People with paranoid personality disorder generally do not lose touch with reality. They tend to avoid people and some are prone to violence a. Treatment can be difficult when the person is suspicious of a physician's motives. Without treatment, this disorder will become chronic and disabling. Medications and therapy are very effective in treating this disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder - is a pervasive detachment from others characterized by impassiveness and indifference in social settings. This individual:
wants to be alone,
they avoid close relationships,
they avoid having sexual experiences,
they have few, if any, pleasurable activities,
they are indifferent to either criticism or praise,
they can be cold, impassive, or stoic,
and they are often restrained and detached.

This disorder does not occur exclusively during schizophrenia or a mood disorder with psychotic features or another psychotic disorder or a pervasive developmental disorder. Moreover, it is not caused by the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.
Schizoid personality disorder: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia


The DSM contains a standard classification of mental disorders used by health care professionals in the United States. Moreover, it is supposed to have a collection of accurate public health care statistics and to provide accurate diagnostic criteria. The problem is that some decided to remove Sadistic Personality Disorder from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Some experts regard that removal as a mistake. So the problem is deciding whether Sadistic Personality Disorder is a separate and distinct syndrome that is similar to narcissism or a variation of narcississm.

In the past, many researchers had believed that narcissism was mostly a benign character flaw characterized by an individual’s superior view of themselves. Their view was wrong because most narcissistic individuals are very manipulative and clever and sadism simply takes these behaviors to a higher level of self-indulgence. The most important aspect about sadism is that this is a common trait among those persons who enjoy hurting or humiliating other people. So when somebody falsely accuses another and that results in personal sexual satisfaction, then this is sexual sadism.

A pattern of gratuitous cruelty, aggression, and demeaning behaviors characterizes Sadistic Personality Disorder. This often suggests the existence of deep-seated contempt for other people and a total lack of empathy. Some sadists create their moods and explosive violence to establish a position of dominance within a relationship. Moreover, they rarely use physical force themselves but instead use others to carry out their intentions. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Tomas de Torquemada (1420-1498) shared this trait with others who had collectively tortured and murdered millions over the centuries.

Historically, historians have often misattributed sexual sadism to the Donatien Alphonse Francois, the Marquis de Sade. In truth, the government held him in several prisons and in an insane asylum for 32 years. De Sade became appalled by the Reign of Terror (1793) and he publicly denounced Maximilien Rospespierre. As a result, he accused De Sade of the crimes of heresy and ‘modernism’ and imprisoned for more than a year. The word ‘heresy’ refers to an opinion or a doctrine that is contrary to current accepted beliefs or standards. Note: ‘Modernism’ is simply a break with the past and it is often associated with a search for new or better ways of expression.

Sadistic Personality Disorder

According to the literature, Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD) only appeared in the appendix of the revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R). The most current version, DSM-IV, does not include SPD because it is not regarded to be a valid diagnostic category. One reason for this is that this disorder is identified by behaviors that also occur in other personality disorders. So in this sense, SPD is unique in that it affects only a few individuals. The problem is that current literature (2011) does not quantify SPD’s prevalence among a sufficiently large population.

Other authors have raised the concern that sadistic personalities are most often male and any such diagnosis might have the ‘paradoxical’ effect of legally excusing cruel behavior (my emphasis added). About 75 percent of the borderline personalities are female and those who engage in illegal conduct are routinely excused by the courts for their own illegal behavior. According to the available literature, sexual sadism that "causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning" is still in DSM-IV. Sexual Personality Disorder is the repeated occurrence of four of the following behaviors:
blames others for their own acts.
demeans or humiliates people in the presence of others.
destroys or steals property.
lies for the sole purpose of harming others and inflicting pain.
restricts the autonomy (sovereignty) of family members. A husband cannot leave the house without his wife’s permission.
uses intimidation to get others to do what they want.
uses physical cruelty or violence to establish dominance in a relationship.
takes pleasure in inflicting psychological or physical suffering of others including animals.
treats their spouse and other persons harshly.
violence, weapons, and torture become an obsession.
kills pets and other animals for self-satisfaction and it is also a threat.
any behavior that includes histrionics, jealousy, and the seeking of victimization to create guilt in others.
See Machiavellianism

Sexual Sadism is any behavior (above) directed toward another person that results in sexual arousal and may include sexual-climax. Although sexual sadism may include an actual act of sadism, it is often expressed as a false allegation to maintain the illusion of victimization when, in fact, they are the abusers. This is only one of several connections between egoism, narcissism, and sexual sadism. Machiavellianism is the view that politics is amoral and that any means however unscrupulous can justifiably be used in achieving political power (Webster's Dictionary). See Millon's Subtypes (virtuous, possessive, self-undoing, and oppressed).

The Gothic Novels and Role Playing

This style of fiction is usually set in desolate or remote setting such as a remote castle, a hotel, or an old New England home. These settings are often used to provide the backdrop for strange and macabre incidents with the purpose of producing a thrilling response. So these settings give women a chance to experience situations that may not be realistic, but are nonetheless desirable because her mind and imagination often strongly drive a woman’s sexuality and urges. Many women call this genre the 'hump' novels. It is the excitement and pleasure that she is in the complete domination over another person. That is the essence of her sadistic drive. It is to sink into the overwhelming fantasy of her own making. So sexual sadism is a persistent pattern of abuse to become sexually aroused by causing another person’s suffering.

Francois (the Marquis) produced many essays, plays, and short stories, and novels. His more popular novels include Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue and Philosophy in the Bedroom. However, his '120 Days of Sodom' was so controversial that the publisher did not release it until 1904, 90 years after his death. However, his works are now often used to illustrate certain facets of abnormal psychology.


Paraphilia is a pattern of recurring sexually arousing mental imagery or behavior that involves unusual and especially socially unacceptable sexual practices such as pedophilia or sexual sadism. Some texts stress the importance of distinguishing ‘Sadism’ and ‘Sexual Sadism’ because sadism does not necessarily include a sexual context. While both are related and are meant to degrade the victim, sexual sadism does not necessarily require physical contact. In this context, sexual sadism refers to the derivation of sexual pleasure through voyeurism, false allegations, and other offenses.

Mood Disorders

Sometimes a personality disorder and a mood disorder may afflict a person and this is why I wrote about them: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Periods of depression characterize Bipolar Disorder followed by periods of mania. In the hyperactive state, the symptoms include an overly-inflated self-esteem arising from unrealistic beliefs in one's own abilities or powers. This leads to racing thoughts. The symptoms are rapid speaking, excessive irritability, and mania. Please see the essay on mood disorders for more information and additional references (Mood Disorders).

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Formerly known as multiple personality disorder

This fictitious disorder is a cognitive process where a person acts as if they have a mental or physical illness. The difference between a ‘real’ and a fictitious illness is that the presumptive victim has created their own symptoms. However, dissociative identity disorder is a new term for multiple personality disorder (1991) and it may exist with other conditions. These include false memories that led to false claims of abuse. Predicatively, four kinds of factious disorders exist: physical, psychological, both physical and psychological, and not otherwise.

The problem with Dissociative Identity Disorder is the process of separating discrete multiple personalities from other conscious processes. So an underlying difficulty is that if the patient is malingering, then the proponent must prove it. This can be difficult when an injunction exists against testing or proving it. So by the time the court approves the test, the evidence is no longer relevant because it does not exist or the plaintiff refuses to appear. However, the problem is that many judges will not allow a case to go forward without the complainant; however, charging the complainant with perjury and malicious prosecution solves their problem.

Pretension may not exist as a mental or personality disorder. Instead, it is a conscious means of distancing one’s behavior by denial. In a benign sense, it is much like a child’s role playing as a part of their maturation. However adults attempt to dissociate from their own sense of guilt and so a practitioner cannot rule out malingering and false allegations for financial other gain. The point is that no one can remember an event that did not occur. So if a person did not recover them, they created them through drugs and hypnosis (The Recovered Memories Hoaxes). Moreover, those write about it, often create it and this is also true of these quack psychologists.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is an invention and hoax to extract money and property from the real victims. Factitious disorders are inventions where a person acts as if they have an illness or impairment by feigning or deliberately producing or exaggerating symptoms or injuries. Fictitious disorder by proxy occurs when a person deliberately exaggerates, produces, or feigns injuries in persons in their care. For an example, the condition of a patient may decline when the caretaker is present and then improve when that particular caretaker has completed their shift.

Multiple identity syndrome (Dissociative Identity) is a separate and very rare mental disorder exhibiting the existence of two or more distinct and independent personalities. Reservedly, each personality has its own identity, a set of behaviors and memories, and each is not aware of the other personalities and their experiences. This phenomenon includes dissociated egoism and deliberate detachment. Note: Egoism is a doctrine that individual self-interest is the actual motive of all conscious action and that individual self-interest is a valid end of all actions (Self Approval).

DID Behaviors and Fictitious Disorder

According to an article in Wikipedia, "some degree of recovery is possible." However, the individual may have mastered the art of feigning, . . . over so many years of practice, that (the doctors) can no longer discern the disorder. This is an important trial issue because a lawyer might proffer that the 'victim' - has not recovered when she has been faking. Moreover, the American Bar Association has claimed that false allegations are not an important issue. This shows the court's permissiveness toward women who lie. These are a few of the behaviors found in those who malinger and lie.
inconsistent medical history,
vague symptoms that may become uncontrollable,
predictable ‘relapses’ following any improvement,
scars that may be a result of self-inflicted injury,
onset of new symptoms after negative test results,
symptoms only occur when the patient is alone,
testing does reveal any problem,
seeks treatment in different locals (doctor hopping),
blocks health care providers from meeting with their family or friends.

The Controversy

The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states characterizes Dissociative Identity Disorder and these continually have power over the person's behavior. This may the reason that some persons cannot recall important events that are not occasional lapses of memory. According to the literature, these ‘alter’ personalities exist independently and are not aware of the others. However, each appears to have their own autonomy because they exhibit their own distinct way of interacting with others. The problem is that when they are under hypnosis, the person's different "alters" or identities may be very responsive to the therapist's requests.

That is similar to the effects of guided imagery on women who had reported recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse in 1992. This resulted in false accusations of sexual child abuse. The hoaxer’s enhanced her guided imagery with Sodium Amytal. However, this method lost its credibility with the discovery that almost anyone can coerce a person into having a 'false memory' of an event. It is a simple matter of repetition. However, according to the record, a man sued, his daughter’s therapist, for implanting false memories of his abuse of his daughter. According to my information, no record exists that the father received any judgement for his daughter nor was there any record that the authorities had tried the therapist for estrangement and abuse.

Dissociative identity disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)
Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder
Discovery Health "5 Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder"
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative disorders: Symptoms -
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Treatment, Causes, Symptoms
Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder
Dispelling Myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder


From this Website

False allegations and Child Sexual Abuse

False allegations and Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Malingering and False and Self-Inflicted Injuries.

Wikipedia (Munchausen Syndrome) -

Medline Plus Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

From Other Publications
NIMH · Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder - NAMI

Histrionic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Information on Bipolar Disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health.

NIMH · Bipolar Disorder - NIMH - National Institutes of Health

Bipolar Disorder Center: Symptoms, Types, Tests, and Treatments

Bipolar Disorder -

From Other Sources

American Psychiatric Association.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th edition, text revised.
Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

Bipolar Disorder, Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.

Wikipedia (Munchausen Syndrome) -

Edward Steven Nunes


Friday, July 3, 2015

Computer Forensics: an approach to evidence in cyberspace by

Computer Forensics: an approach to evidence in cyberspace by


COMPUTER EVIDENCE V. DAUBERT: THE COMING CONFLICT by Christopher V Marsico Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2086

Challenges in Forensic Computing by Rebecca T. Mercuri

Challenges in Forensic Computing by Rebecca T. Mercuri

Challenges in Forensic Computing

Security Watch
Challenges in Forensic Computing

Rebecca T. Mercuri
Communications of the ACM
Volume 48, Number 12 (2005), Pages 17-21

Table of Contents

The ever-changing nature of technology contributes to the problems encountered by experts when collecting and preparing digital evidence for courtroom presentation.

In recent years, forensic computing has evolved beyond that of an ad hoc pseudoscience to a recognized discipline with certified practitioners and guidelines pertaining to the conduct of their activities. With the ubiquity of computer-based devices in everyday use, forensic techniques are increasingly being applied to a broad range of digital media and equipment, thus posing many challenges for experts as well as for those who make use of their skills.

According to Computer Forensics World (, the field primarily involves the "use of analytical and investigative techniques to identify, collect, examine, and preserve evidence/information which is magnetically stored or encoded." Forensic investigations may also address the analysis and reporting of digital evidence after an incident has occurred, with the goal of preparing "legally acceptable" materials for courtroom purposes (see Matters may involve computer security breaches, computers used in committing illegal deeds, criminal activity that had a computer as its target, or computer-based devices that inadvertently collected information pertinent to a crime or dispute (see

Forensic computing experts can be deployed in a broad range of criminal, municipal, and civil arenas. I have worked on a variety of cases in this capacity, including:
Investigation of a law firm's accounting information by a state Office of Attorney Ethics to determine whether escrowed funds had been misused;
Reconstruction of thousands of deleted text and image files in a murder case, in order to gather information about the activities of the victim and various suspects;
Examination of source code used in the construction of an MPEG decoder chip set, to see if patents had been violated;
Evaluation of the contents of a database to determine the cost of its production, as mitigating evidence in a large financial disagreement between business partners;
Consideration of possible foul play by a former company employee, in the damage of computer records;
Mathematical analysis of photographs to see if they had been digitally altered; and
Preparation of explanations for an abnormally high missed vote rate exhibited by certain self-auditing electronic election equipment.

Many forensic matters (including some of those mentioned here) do not go to trial, especially in the business arena where a convincing set of data often suffices to induce an out-of-court settlement, or where investigative techniques are applied on a "need-to-know" basis, such as to determine whether internal or external corporate espionage or malicious activity has occurred. Experts may assist in preparing legal briefs, they can be requested to provide sworn testimony and opinions in city, state, and federal hearings conducted by legislative bodies and their commissions or task forces, and they frequently work hand-in-hand with computer security teams to assist in the development of procedural, policy, and control techniques to help prevent (or assist in mitigating) losses. Investigations can be performed in a few hours or days on simple matters, or can persist over the course of years for complex cases. Although some experts are engaged for the full range of investigative and testimonial tasks, those who are valued for their highly persuasive verbal skills, and who can react well to on-the-spot challenges, may only review and present (or rebut) evidence prepared by other forensic computing specialists.

Unless appointed by the court to provide a neutral interpretation of findings from all sides of a dispute, forensic experts tend (unofficially, of course) to be looked upon or identify themselves as either "black hats" (typically those working for defense teams) or "white hats" (those allied with plaintiff or prosecution teams). Law enforcement officers are usually branded as being "white hats" since their experts are often used as witnesses by the district attorneys in criminal cases. But, in practice, since digital media evidence is typically impounded in the custody of state and local police, or similar federal agencies, such officers must necessarily also cooperate with the defense team in allowing their experts to access the data for discovery and case-preparation purposes.

Given the adversarial nature of this process, and since the caveat of "possession being nine-tenths of the law" applies to the ease with which computer-based data can be (often undetectably and/or non-recoverably) modified during its collection, impounding, and analysis, certain new "rules of evidence" have evolved from the more general (non-computer) codes of practice. These rules address the chain of custody that must be authenticated when digital evidence is introduced. An example of such procedures concerns the use of materials that have been duplicated. In general, according to the U.S. House Advisory Committee on Rules, with regard to its Rule 1003 (Admissibility of Duplicates) in the Federal Rules of Evidence, "a counterpart serves equally as well as the original, if the counterpart is the product of a method which insures accuracy and genuineness." It should be noted that although these Rules of Evidence (see are required only for Federal court proceedings, many state codes are modeled after them, and thus are fairly consistent. Determination of violation of these rules may be the focus of efforts by defense experts in order to dismiss or raise suspicion about the authenticity or accuracy of the digital materials.

Because of the particular care that must be taken with digital media, forensic investigation efforts can involve many (or all) of the following steps (see
Securing materials via appropriate chain of custody;
Making full (or mirror) copies of digital information from impounded sources;
Following procedures to prevent alteration of data and files;
Using software and hardware tools to ensure that the original media is not damaged or compromised in any way, and that the copies do not contain extraneous material (such as residual data that may be introduced through prior uses of the medium now holding the mirror copy);
Maintaining any data that resides in "free space," including restoration of deleted information on the original devices, using the mirror copies; 
Keeping a complete and comprehensive audit trail of steps performed in the preceding processes; and
Ensuring that client-attorney privileges and other privacy issues related to the digital evidence are not breached by the experts who have examined the data.

Certain digital information, beyond the contents of the data itself, may be pertinent to case development. This information can include file time and date stamps, folder structure hierarchies, and message transmission tags. Real-time data collection efforts may need to address surveillance legalities and privileges, and avoid inadvertent damage claims (such as may occur when a server is made inaccessible for a period of time). Things to be wary of include alterations to the digital media that could occur when the electronic device is turned on or off, and inadvertent activation of Trojan horse or time-bomb malware that was left behind to corrupt data and confound forensic efforts. One caveat is that "you should only find what is actually there," but ensuring this is so, may involve the development and implementation of collection, blocking, prevention, and tracking techniques. This is where evidence collection kits, containing software and hardware tools, can be usefully applied.

The forensic examiner's bag of tricks generally includes operating system utilities (for backups, disk manipulation, string searches, and so forth), data recovery software (to thwart file deletion attempts), file viewers and Hex editors (to perform Win/Mac data conversions and reveal information contents and patterns), and commercial firewalls (for network sniffing and port scanning during investigations). There are also packages that provide turnkey assistance for forensic examinations, complete with case management tracking for procedures, reports, and billing. Experts may build their own scripts and tools in order to provide specialized investigations, or to gain an edge over firms providing similar services.

Some useful lists of forensic products are maintained by Danny Mares and Company at, by the Computer Crime Research Center at, and by the University of Western Sidney's School of Computing and Information Technology at Although a considerable amount of this software is freely downloadable (and yes, used by hackers as well as trackers), generally you get what you pay for—namely, some of these free offerings can be a bit of a kludge. Some of the most user-friendly commercial products are sold only to law-enforcement agencies or are priced prohibitively for defense teams, so justice may not necessarily be even-handedly served with regard to examination capabilities.

If access to digital evidence is not forthcoming from an impounding agency, court orders may be necessary to obtain the data as well as use of the extraction tools, in order to determine whether protocols had been appropriately applied. Conversely, a prosecution or defense team may wish to suppress evidence from discovery, if they believe it could be damaging to the case. Here is where the time-consuming aspects of the forensic examination may come into play. Typically it is not possible to perform a comprehensive decomposition and logging of all materials (such as the contents of every sector of a terabyte hard drive, or thousands of hours of digital video from a surveillance camera), so a "scratch-and-sniff" approach might be used to yield promising information. Even though cost-effective, tactical decisions to proceed with only a partial investigation may be regretted in hindsight if a post-mortem comprehensive analysis shows that an alternative outcome might have prevailed.

In response to the need to analyze, preserve, protect, and defend forensic evidence, an initiative was begun in 1999 (prior to the homeland security era), in San Diego, CA, to construct and staff Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories (RCFLs). This was done through the Federal Bureau of Investigation in cooperation with local and state law enforcement [1]. By year's end, 13 of these RCFLs will be available for use by more than 1,000 agencies, spanning 15 states (see I had the opportunity to tour the RCFL in Hamilton Township, NJ that is a part of the newly constructed Forensic Science Technology Center administered by the FBI, the NJ Office of the Attorney General, the NJ Division of Criminal Justice, and the NJ State Police. In addition to the RCFL, the $2.2 million, 200,000-square-foot facility houses laboratories for ballistics, DNA, drug analysis and toxicology, crime scene investigation, and forensic anthropology and photography. The RCFL section contains bulletproof windows and walls, examination bays, a classroom, and a state-of-the-art digital evidence room (the modern-day equivalent of a Faraday cage) to shield impounded materials that could be sensitive to radio-frequency signals (such as cellular telephones, PDAs, and wireless-equipped computers).

The New Jersey RCFL ( provides free digital forensic training services for law enforcement investigators and analysts, who can also receive FBI digital forensic examiner certification through participation in a 12–18 month sequence that includes coursework facilitated by the lab, and on-the-job training. Even though the unit's 21 examiners successfully handled hundreds of cases in the lab's first year of operation, they still must balance and leverage constraints of time, budget, and capacity. Toward this end, they prioritize requests into five levels: 1) immediate threats to property or people; 2) similar but potential threats; 3) general criminal investigations, such as fraud and child endangerment/pornography; 4) administrative inquiries; and 5) digital forensic research and development.

NJRCFL's laboratory director, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Larry Depew, noted that continual changes in digital technology pose far more complex challenges than those involving other "traditional" forensic disciplines, since some of the latter are, relatively speaking, performed on a "fixed box" of information. He believes the value of the computer forensic laboratory is seen not only in its investigative and archival functions, but also includes its continual improvements in process methodology. Depew views this with respect to the importance of determining "not only what I know, but what I know that isn't so." Security expert Rebecca Bace [3] also identifies this as a key challenge in forensic computing—the application of inductive reasoning on the data to determine "what is or was" as well as deductive thinking in order to intuit "what is not or was not." What adds to the complexity, she says, is that "often there is little symmetry between the inductive and deductive aspects of a particular case."

Another problem encountered by forensic examiners (especially those unaided by RCFL facilities) is that they must seek out and provide for their own training on an ongoing basis. This is a confusing matter, as it has only been since 2003 that forensic computing has been recognized as a laboratory discipline. The NJRCFL, for example, is applying for accreditation by the Board of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD; Although ASCLD approval in the category of Digital and Multimedia Evidence is available for labs meeting its standards for any or all of four subdisciplines (computer forensics, forensic audio, video analysis, and image analysis), it does not presently certify the examiners who work in these labs. Many examiner certifications are new and their relative merits may be dubious, especially as compared to the broader knowledge, flexibility, and skills of well-trained and experienced computer scientists, engineers, or IT professionals. The CompuForensics Web site ( even mentions that the field "is as yet not regulated by any credible centralized certification authority." Some of these credentials (see examples in the table here) could be obtained via short courses taken by a computer-savvy high school graduate, although an FBI or police background check may also be required.

While a few community colleges and universities have begun to feature forensic computing specializations, there is not yet any consensus on curriculum requirements, although as the field evolves there will likely be further course offerings and some standardization. Trends seem to suggest these topics are primarily hosted by IT departments, whose graduates would typically deal with front-line defense and incident response against activities that potentially require forensic investigation [2].

Most certainly, forensic computing is an exciting profession that can be both elating and frustrating for its practitioners. Even if it were somehow possible to eradicate nefarious intent, equipment failures will continue to provide a market for investigative and reconstructive services as with any engineering endeavor (like the Space Shuttle and the power grid). The continuing maturity of this field will invariably bring some stabilization in best practices, training, certification, and toolsets, but new challenges will always emerge because of the dynamic nature of the technology at its root.


1. Garrison, D. Regional computer forensic laboratories. Evidence Technology Magazine 1, 4 (Nov./Dec. 2003);

2. Kruse, W. and Heiser, J. Computer Forensics—Incident Response Essentials. Addison-Wesley, 2002.

3. Smith, F. and Bace, R. A Guide to Forensic Testimony. Addison-Wesley, 2003.


Rebecca Mercuri ( recently completed a fellowship with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and has resumed her expert witness and forensic computing work at Notable Software, Inc.


Table. Forensic computing examiner certifications.

©2005 ACM 0001-0782/05/1200 $5.00

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Challenging the Admission of Forensic Evidence by Amelia L. Bizzaro

Challenging the Admission of Forensic Evidence
by Amelia L. Bizzaro
Challenging the Admission of Forensic Evidence
A national study of our nation’s crime labs and the scientific validity of several commonly used forensic science disciplines questions the basis for several different forensic science disciplines. It makes sweeping recommendations for reform and calls for standardization, accreditation, and independence for the nation’s crime labs. Attorneys must continue to press trial courts to be more active gatekeepers by challenging the underlying premise of forensic evidence, because oftentimes science does not support analysts’ testimony.

Not only does forensic science play a role in most criminal cases, it also is now part of mainstream American culture, thanks in part to the prolific and popular “CSI” television series and several other programs that depict crime solving. Prosecutors may be faced with jurors who expect forensic evidence to be as clear-cut as it is on television, where it is easy to understand, interesting, and 100 percent accurate. Jurors faced with lengthy expert testimony discussing complex scientific principles may disbelieve the evidence, holding prosecutors to an impossible standard. At the same time, it also is possible that given their familiarity with some forensic science terms, jurors may believe the evidence to be more accurate than it really is, aligning it with their television experiences in which the evidence is always infallible. As a result, lawyers on both sides of cases are faced with the daunting task of convincing jurors that art does not always imitate life.

The task of painting an accurate picture of forensic science evidence, while still difficult, has become somewhat easier since a committee of the National Academies of Science (NAS) National Research Council published its report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (hereinafter, the NAS Report). The NAS Report, created by a diverse group of scientists, academics, and legal scholars, called into question the basis for several different forensic science disciplines, made sweeping recommendations for reform, and called for standardization, accreditation, and independence for the nation’s crime labs.

The report questioned the reliability of most forensic science disciplines, with the exception of DNA-evidence research, noting that such research is the only discipline that “has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently and with a high degree of certainty support conclusions about individualization (more commonly known as matching of an unknown item of evidence to a specific known source).”1 Compared to DNA-evidence research, the report opines, several forensic science disciplines fall woefully short. “The simple reality is that the interpretation of forensic evidence is not always based on scientific studies to determine its validity.”2

On a national scale, the report’s findings and recommendations are slowly being implemented through legislation. The Senate Judiciary Committee made public a draft outline for legislation in response to the NAS Report. The legislation calls for the creation of the Forensics Science Commission (FSC), which would be made up of members appointed by the President based on recommendations from the NAS and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. If created, the FSC will be responsible for setting “rigorous standards for accreditation,” determining which disciplines require certification and the standards for such certification, developing a “comprehensive strategy for increasing and improving peer-reviewed scientific research related to the forensic science disciplines, including research addressing issues of accuracy, reliability, and validity in the various disciplines,” and establishing “standard protocols, methods, practices, quality assurance standards and reporting terminology for each applicable forensic science discipline in order to ensure the quality and integrity of the data generated.”3

Although no such legislation is pending in Wisconsin, the report is still a helpful tool for any lawyer seeking to admit or challenge forensic science evidence. Use of the report, however, depends largely on the forum, the case, and the type of evidence.
Admission of Scientific Evidence

The relationship between science and law has long been tumultuous. The legal system usually relies on the adversarial system to root out the truth, while the scientific community uses empirical analysis. Law and science often collide in the courtroom, where lawyers often find themselves exploring scientific concepts they may not fully understand. Similarly, judges, who also often lack a scientific background, are put in the untenable position of deciding whether evidence is relevant, and at least to some extent, reliable. Perhaps the Hon. Harry T. Edwards, cochair of the committee that authored the NAS Report, said it best: “I started the NAS project with no skepticism regarding the forensic science community. Rather, I assumed, as I suspect many of my judicial colleagues do, that the forensic disciplines are well grounded in scientific methodology and that crime laboratories and forensic practitioners follow proven practices that ensure the validity and reliability of forensic evidence offered in court. I was surprisingly mistaken in what I assumed.”4

Whether in state court or federal court, there are at least two underlying issues for every piece of forensic evidence offered for admission: 1) the extent to which the particular forensic discipline is based on reliable scientific methodology, and 2) the extent to which the expert’s conclusion depends on his or her own interpretation, which may be colored by error or bias and may lack operational and performance standards.5 The less science is involved, the more subjective the conclusion.

However, the impact of these issues depends largely on the forum. In federal court, the standard for the admission of scientific evidence has evolved. It began with the landmark case Frye v. United States,6 in which the court ultimately held that evidence was not admissible unless it was generally accepted. Fifty years later the test changed with the implementation of Federal Rule of Evidence 702, which required only that the evidence “assist the trier of fact.” What the promulgation of this rule meant for Frye was hotly debated until nearly 25 years later, in 1993, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided the landmark case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. The Court held that Rule 702, not Frye, controlled, but that the “trial judge must ensure that any and all scientific testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant, but reliable.”7 The Daubert court emphasized that evidentiary reliability must be based on scientific validity and provided a list of factors to consider, including whether the scientific theory or technique had been tested, subjected to peer review, and accepted.

The evolution of requirements for the admission of evidence did not end with Daubert, however. In 2000, Rule 702 was amended to permit the admission of expert testimony so long as the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and the witness has applied those principles and methods to the facts of the case.

Wisconsin courts have adopted the version of Rule 702 that was in place before Daubert as the test for the admissibility of expert testimony. Thus, so long as the expert is qualified and the testimony will assist the trier of fact and is relevant, it is admissible. Unlike federal courts, which permit the holding of pre-trial evidentiary hearings to determine the reliability of evidence before ruling on its admissibility, Wisconsin courts rely on juries to distinguish charlatans from scientists. Circuit court judges have “considerable discretion in determining the admissibility of expert testimony.”8 “First, the expert’s principles, methods, and tests must be ‘reliable enough to be probative’; that is, a reasonable jury must be able to find them reliable (the standard of conditional relevancy). Second, the trial judge has discretion as a ‘limited gatekeeper’ to limit or exclude expert testimony based on a number of factors, including the consumption of time and the degree to which it assists the trier of fact.”9

Because of the immense amount of discretion vested in both federal and state courts to admit or exclude expert testimony, appellate court decisions are confined to determining whether the lower courts abused discretion, a highly deferential standard difficult to overcome. As the NAS Report acknowledged, it is difficult to know just what is happening at the trial court level because district courts do not routinely publish decisions. “Reported opinions in criminal cases indicate that trial judges sometimes exclude or restrict expert testimony offered by prosecutors; reported opinions also indicate that appellate courts routinely deny appeals contesting trial court decisions admitting forensic evidence against criminal defendants.”10 The same is not true in civil cases. In civil cases, the NAS Report found, the parties are more equally matched in terms of their ability to introduce forensic evidence. “And, ironically, the appellate courts appear to be more willing to second-guess trial court judgments on the admissibility of purported scientific evidence in civil cases than in criminal cases.”11

While federal court appellate decisions concerning the scientific underpinning of evidence are hard to come by, relevant state court decisions are virtually nonexistent. Appellate courts are not in a position to decide whether evidence from a specific forensic science discipline is admissible, given that their review is almost always limited to whether there was an erroneous exercise of discretion. That is not to say, however, that appellate courts have never considered the admissibility of scientific evidence.

Federal courts have specifically rejected comparative lead-bullet-analysis evidence, which parties used in attempts to match recovered bullets to a particular box of ammunition. Declared unreliable across the board, such evidence is per se inadmissible. Wisconsin appellate courts have directly addressed two types of expert evidence to date: polygraph evidence and psychiatric testimony of a defendant’s ability to form intent. The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected polygraph evidence, in part because “the legal and scientific communities remain significantly divided on the reliability and the usefulness of the polygraph in a criminal case.”12 Despite recognizing that the polygraph had some degree of validity and reliability, the court held the evidence inadmissible because it relied too much on the examiner’s subjective evaluation and on factors that could not be reliably quantified.13

Similarly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that expert psychiatric testimony regarding a defendant’s capacity to form intent was inadmissible when based on the defendant’s mental health history. “There is substantial doubt whether evidence such as was sought to be introduced here is scientifically sound, and there is substantial legal doubt that it is probative on the point for which it was asserted in this case.” 14

On the trial court level, several federal district courts have begun to question whether firearm and tool- mark identification evidence, which seeks to match recovered bullets or casings to a particular firearm, meets the test for the admissibility of expert testimony. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals may also soon weigh in on this particular topic when it decides a pending case, State v. Jones.15 Simply because the appellate courts have not reached many decisions on the admissibility of specific forensic science disciplines does not mean that trial lawyers should avoid actively litigating the issues in the circuit and district courts. If nothing else is clear, it is clear that the trial court level is the only place to actively litigate forensic science issues, given the high standard of review.

The NAS Report

The NAS Report is a powerful resource concerning the admissibility of forensic science evidence. The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, cited the prepublication version with approval, noting that it is not “evident that what respondent calls ‘neutral scientific testing’ is as neutral or as reliable as respondent suggests.”16 Similarly, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences17 and the Board of Directors of the American Statistical Association18 have adopted the report.

The most valuable part of the report is its detailed evaluation of several forensic science disciplines. The report authors pored over journal articles and studies, solicited and listened to direct testimony, and conducted independent research. The authors concluded that the majority of the disciplines they evaluated call for the examiner to declare a match using subjective methodology completely lacking in scientific validity. As a result, the disciplines have similar problems: the conclusions reached often are prone to confirmation bias (an analyst’s predisposition to confirm that the evidence supplied by law enforcement matches the identified suspect) and cannot be replicated from one examiner to the next, sometimes not even by the examiner who declared the match. The NAS Report criticized analysts for lacking supporting documentation detailing their evaluation, given their willingness to testify to a zero-error rate.

The three most frequently used types of forensic evidence are friction-ridge analysis (fingerprints, palm prints, and sole prints), pattern/impression evidence (encompassing anything that can leave an impression of a pattern, like shoeprints and tire tracks), and firearm and toolmark identification evidence. All three disciplines involve comparing a recovered item (for example, a fingerprint from a glass door) to a known sample (the suspect’s fingerprint taken by law enforcement). Analysts view the recovered sample and compare it to the known sample, determining whether a match in fact exists. Unlike DNA analysis, few tools other than a microscope and the analysts’ own vision are used.

Overall, the NAS Report’s criticisms of each of these three disciplines were similar: the methodology is subjective; analysts cannot consistently replicate the results, in part because of a lack of documentation; analysts often improperly embellish the accuracy of their findings; and there is no valid, independent research supporting the methodology.

Amelia L. Bizzaro, Marquette 2003, is the principal at Bizzaro Law LLC, Milwaukee, and practices appellate law. She is on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is chair of its Oct. 8-9 seminar, Whatever Happened to the Science in Forensic Science. She is a member of the State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section and is cochair of the Milwaukee Bar Associations Bench/Bar Court of Appeals Committee. The Wisconsin Law Journal recently named her one of 2010’s up and coming lawyers. She can be reached at

The method for identifying fingerprints, for example, “does not guard against bias; is too broad to ensure repeatability and transparency; and does not guarantee that two analysts following it will obtain the same results.”19 Fingerprint experts often testify that their methodology, when done correctly, has a zero-error rate. Such a conclusion, the NAS Report concluded, “is unrealistic, and, moreover, it does not lead to a process of method improvement.”20

When it comes to pattern/impression evidence, the NAS Report concluded, “there is no consensus regarding the number of individual characteristics needed to make a positive identification.”21 There is no research about “the persistence of individual characteristics, the rarity of certain characteristic types, and the appropriate statistical standards to apply to the significance of individual characteristics.”22

The NAS Report, like several recent federal district court decisions, was perhaps most critical of firearm and toolmark identification evidence. “A fundamental problem with toolmark and firearms analysis is the lack of a precisely defined process.”23 The controlling authority for declaring a firearm identification match lies with the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE), which advises examiners to declare a match when there is “sufficient agreement” between two sets of marks.24 The AFTE’s definition “does not even consider, let alone address, questions regarding variability, reliability, repeatability, or the number of correlations needed to achieve a given degree of confidence.”25

Because the majority of forensic science consists merely of having an analyst look at the evidence, prosecutors should exercise caution in admitting it, defense lawyers should be prepared to challenge it, and the courts should carefully consider whether such visual examinations, with nothing more, are really helpful to the trier of fact.
Challenging the Admissibility of Forensic Evidence and Limiting Experts’ Opinions

Given Wisconsin’s assist-the-trier-of-fact standard for the admission of expert testimony, litigators must challenge forensic evidence by demonstrating that the evidence in question is not reliable enough to be probative and is not helpful to the trier of fact. If, as is true within some disciplines, the experts cannot agree with one another about what constitutes a match, or even the terminology for describing a match, then experts within those disciplines cannot possibly help jurors figure it out. Certainly, when declaration of a match depends on what the expert sees, then jurors ought to be able to also see the match for themselves with the help of pictures. Simply declaring a match is not enough. Forensic evidence from disciplines that depend on the examiners’ subjective opinion to know a match when they see it should be inadmissible for the same reasons that polygraph and defense psychological testimony on intent are inadmissible.

Although it remains to be seen whether this argument will persuade state court judges, federal district courts have begun to limit the admissibility of some types of forensic evidence. More than one federal district court has limited the type of opinion experts can express to the jury in firearm and toolmark identification cases. In one case, the court concluded that allowing the examiner “to testify that he had matched a bullet or casing to a particular gun ‘to a reasonable degree of ballistic certainty’ would seriously mislead the jury.” As a result, it permitted the examiner to state his opinion “in terms of ‘more likely than not,’ but nothing more.”26 Another court noted, “there is no reliable statistical or scientific methodology which will currently permit the expert to testify that it is a ‘match’ to an absolute certainty, or to an arbitrary degree of statistical certainty.”27 The court refused to allow the expert to “assert any degree of statistical certainty, 100 percent or otherwise, as to a match.”28

Experts to Discuss Nuts and Bolts of Forensic Science at WACDL Seminar for Defense Attorneys 

The Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL) is hosting a two-day seminar about forensic science Oct. 8-9 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. Join nationally renowned legal and scientific experts who will discuss the nuts and bolts of several important forensic science fields, paying special attention to successfully and effectively cross-examining analysts. Topics include trace evidence, fingerprints, firearm and toolmark identification, DNA, and blood testing.

The WACDL is committed to promoting the proper administration of criminal justice; fostering and maintaining the integrity, independence, and expertise of the defense lawyers in criminal cases; and encouraging an unyielding concern for the protection of individual rights and due process. The seminar is limited to attorneys who share this commitment. For more information and to register for the seminar, please visit or call (608) 223-1275.

Federal courts, while not refusing to allow experts to testify, are at least limiting the conclusions of the experts. These limitations, while certainly a step in the right direction, are not enough. Attorneys must vigorously cross-examine the experts on their conclusions, particularly relating to the two main concerns expressed by the NAS Report: confirmation bias and the lack of documentation accompanying test results.

Analysts carelessly use terms like “match,” “consistent with,” “identical,” “similar in all respects tested,” and “cannot be excluded as the source of” without any agreement or consensus within the discipline about the meaning of these terms.29 “The use of such terms can have a profound effect on how the trier of fact in a criminal or civil matter perceives and evaluates the evidence.”30 Attorneys should force the analysts to define these nebulous terms on the stand. If an analyst does not know what those terms mean, how can a jury rely on his or her conclusions to any degree?

Similarly, analysts should not be permitted to simply supply a one-sentence report declaring a match without explaining more. Reports should, at a minimum, describe “methods and materials, procedures, results, and conclusions, and they should identify, as appropriate, the sources of uncertainty in the procedures and conclusions along with estimates of their scale (to indicate the level of confidence in the results).”31 Analysts who omit these critical details should be forced to explain themselves on the stand. Again, an inability to do so will show the jury how little science is really involved.

Although most lab reports do not reveal it, most analysts also have notes from their evaluation, in addition to the report. These notes may explain what the reports do not (but also may be nothing more than the same one-line sentence declaring a match). Arguably, the state is required to provide these materials in response to a discovery demand because they are statements of a witness, and failure to do so is reversible error unless the state can prove harmless error.32 The notes may reveal further avenues of cross examination, not for what the notes say but for what they do not, particularly involving disciplines in which the analyst declares a match, like friction-ridge analysis, pattern/impression evidence, and firearm and toolmark identification evidence. If the analyst’s notes do not describe the supposedly unique marks, where they are located, or what makes them unique, then the analyst certainly will not be able to testify to those things several months later at trial.

In addition to the state’s obligation to provide relevant materials, attorneys have an obligation to become familiar with the problems within a particular discipline and to seek to challenge admissibility of the evidence and the analysts’ opinion about it. Attorneys must avail themselves of readily available information calling into question the reliability of a particular forensic discipline.

The NAS Report is a valuable tool that looked closely at the state of our nation’s crime labs and the scientific validity of several frequently used forensic science disciplines. Although the law often lags behind developments in science, attorneys must continue to challenge trial courts to be more active gatekeepers by challenging the underlying premise of forensic evidence, despite the fact that the evidence may have been generally accepted in the past. Such challenges are primarily fact-based and achieved through cross-examination, because very few appellate court decisions have addressed specific disciplines.

1National Academies of Science, National Research Council, Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community, Strengthening Science in the United States: A Path Forward 87 (final publication 2009) (hereinafter NAS Report). Available for purchase at

2Id. at 8.

3Senate Judiciary Committee, “Draft Outline of Forensic Report Legislation” (May 5, 2010), available at

4Harry T. Edwards, cochair, Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community, National Academies of Science, presentation at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Conference on The Role of the Court in an Age of Developing Science and Technology, Washington, D.C., May 6, 2010, The National Academy of Sciences Report on Forensic Sciences: What It Means for the Bench and Bar 2.

5NAS Report, supra note 1, at 9.

6Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).

7Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589 (1993).

8Daniel Blinka, Wisconsin Practice Series § 702.1, at 572 (3d ed. 2008).


10NAS Report, supra note 1, at 97 (citations omitted).

11Id. at 98 (citations omitted).

12State v. Dean, 103 Wis. 2d 228, 234-35, 307 N.W.2d 628 (1981).


14State v. Steele, 97 Wis. 2d 72, 97, 294 N.W.2d 2 (1980).

15State v. Jones, Appeal No. 2009AP2835-CR. The briefs, including an amicus brief from the Innocence Network by attorney Jerome Buting, are available at

16Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 129 S. Ct. 2527, 2536 (2009).

17Science in Court, 464 Nature 325, 325 (2010).

18American Statistical Association Statement on Strengthening Forensic Science (April 17, 2010), available at

19NAS Report, supra note 1, at 142.


21Id. at 149.

22Id. at 150.

23Id. at 155.

24Id. The AFTE does not define any of the terms it uses for declaring a match, although its definition is considered “the best guidance available for the field of toolmark identification[.]” Id.


26United States v. Glynn, 578 F. Supp. 2d 567, 569-70, 575 (S.D.N.Y. 2008).

27State v. Monteiro, 407 F. Supp. 351, 372 (D. Mass. 2006).

28Id. at 373. Other courts have reached similar conclusions. See United States v. Green, 405 F. Supp. 2d 124 (court did not allow examiner to testify that match excluded “all other guns”); United States v. Taylor, 663 F. Supp. 2d 1170, 1179 (D. N.M. 2009) (precluding ballistics examiner from “stating that he can conclude that there is a match to the exclusion, either practical or absolute, of all other guns”). Firearm and tool mark identification is not the only discipline in which a court has limited an expert’s opinion. In Commonwealth v. Patterson, 840 N.E.2d 12, 15 (Mass. 2005), the court held that the ACE-V (analysis, comparison, evaluation, and verification) methodology is sufficiently reliable to admit expert testimony; however, general reliability was not enough for the Commonwealth to introduce evidence that “fingerprint identification could be applied reliably to simultaneous impressions not capable of being individually matched to any of the fingers that supposedly made them.”

29NAS Report, supra note 1, at 185.


31Id. at 186.

32Wis. Stat. § 971.23 (1)(e); State v. Lettice, 205 Wis. 2d 347, 352, 556 N.W.2d 376 (1996).