Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2016

This year looks very nice, with several new opportunities. The combination of casework and research projects is always challenging and bringing new solutions which can be used in casework. Current projects on biometric spoofing as well as on drone forensics give some new insights.
I look forward to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in February, where I am currently Vice President. Together with Laura Liptai and the Theoretical Forensic Science Committee of the Forensic Science Foundation, we prepared a workshop with new developments in forensic science that we expect might have impact in the next years. Furthermore, I am also chairman of the International Affairs Committee, and look forward to meet our international colleagues.  The major efforts of the OSACs to improve the standards of forensic science, are also important for the forensic community, and international collaboration remains important. Also within ENFSI (the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes) major efforts have been made on best practice guides.
Also the webinar for the European Division of the International Association of Identification will be presented next week, with more information on challenges in eforensics combined with emerging biometrics. 
The start was also good where I was one of the lectures on Digital Forensic in Complex Crime Scenes, for the MFS students of the University of Amsterdam. Also with lots of practical assignments. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 2015

This period was a learning experience, since I prepared an inaugural lecture on forensic data science, with the title evidence from big multimedia data. The lecture was at the University of Amsterdam for my special chair forensic data science, for 1 day a week. It was for me a very nice event, and my family, as well as many colleagues, friends and other attended it. I uploaded it also to my website

Also I am happy that the special issue big data and intelligent data analysis of the journal Digital Investigation, where Katrin Franke and I am guest editors is finished now, and it should be available soon. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 2015

 This month we worked for an update on the best practice manual for the ENFSI Forensic IT working group in London which will be soon out for public review on www.enfsi.eu . It is one of the actions to have more standards and validation of results in Digital Evidence. We can see some issues with digital evidence in this article with a case to that standard software from the shelf led to the conclusion in court that the word chloroform was retrieved 84 times instead of 1 and the software designer reported this error. So validation of the results and the interpretation of digital evidence remains important.

I also worked on some casework and had to testify in court. Currently also working on my inaugural lecture as professor in Amsterdam on forensic data science on 12 november 2015. As usual the deadlines of European projects is also at the end of the summer on 28 August, so currently on two of them related to big data as a participant.

The EAFS will be held in Prague and the Forensic IT working group which I am currently chairing will also meet for three days.

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 2015

As usual June is busy before the holidays start. It can be seen on the number of cases that come in, as well as all management tasks that need to be finished. Proposals for restructuring the organisation are often also before the summer and of course new plans and proposals often have to be finished for August, so there is lots of work to do.

Working during a 3 hour train travel to a presentation for Business Intelligence and Smart Services seminar  

We have seen that the CSI-effect had a major impact on expectations of forensic evidence and the speed of solving a case, since generally forensic examination takes time. The studies in Forensic Science, attracts many students, and we had the celebration of 10 year Master of Forensic Science at the University of Amsterdam. One issue is that with current government cuts in many countries the number of jobs is limited. As we can see in the UK there are some reports that some of these cuts might cause serious mistakes in criminal cases. 

This month also several meetings and interesting discussions also on codes of ethics. Also on the ENFSI code of conduct and a derived code proposal from the Netherlands Register of Court Experts. Most forensic organisations (for example the AAFS) also have a similar codes, however for me it is not easy to determine if they might conflict with each other when agreeing with all the different codes,

Also as program manager cyber forensics, big data and digital evidence, several presentations and new contacts also on new topics ranging from infrastructure of big data, to biometric spoofing and drones as well as processing large amounts of video in a forensic case. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 2015

It is another nice month with writing and finishing research proposals, reviewing articles, doing some casework and giving some lectures. Also looking into drone forensics, it appears more research is done in this area and it is expected that cases will come in. I was in Magdeburg and gave a keynote talk at the conference IMF 2015. The city of Magdeburg has many well maintained old buildings and appears to be green. Also good discussions during the meeting on interpretation of forensic evidence as well the appropriate use of Likelihood ratios in Forensic IT, as well as uncertainty and confidence levels which are becoming more used in forensic analysis software.

I also went for a steering committee in Prague to prepare our annual meeting of the Forensic IT working group during the EAFS 2015. One of the goals is finishing the update of the Best Practice manual, and as always it is an issue if the manual does not become too detailed, however it there is excellent progress. It is also good to see new proficiency tests will be developed as well as our new ideas for R&D projects.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

April 2015

This month we had the submission deadline for the special issue on big data and intelligent data analysis for the Journal Digital Investigation. There are many good contributions for the journal, and currently all submissions are processed.

Also besides working on some casework, currently I have a student working on forensic traces in drones, since it appears that the number of drones for consumer sold is growing rapidly. There is not much research in this field yet related on forensics and traces that can be recovered after a crime happened, and as we saw at the AAFS conference  in February two papers were presented there.

It is good to see that open source software within the forensic community is more wider available, as we can see  also at http://www.basistech.com/osdfcon-2015/ . It was suprising to see how easy the software is to install and use as we can see for example in Autopsy by Brian Carrier. Also the NFI developed open source software such as defraser, for analysis and repair of video. Furthermore we see in biometrics also several approaches for open source software which appear major enough to use for research.

In May there is a conference of 9th International Conference on IT Security Incident Management & IT Forensics in Magdeburg were I am preparing a keynote talk for. More research is see on investigation on malware and android forensics and upcoming research on private browsing software, such as Tor, I2P and many others is expected.

Image of Magdeburg where the IMF conference is held
GrĂ¼ne Zitadelle, Hundertwasserhaus

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 2015

Looking back to February, it was an excellent conference at the American Academy of Forensic Science, where I was elected as Vice President and chairperson of the AAFS Membership Review Committee. Furthermore the workshop of the Think Tank of the Forensic Science Foundation that I was chairing was sold out with a waiting list. New developments were presented ranging from wearables, biometric research in facial comparison, drones and multispectral imaging which might influence future forensic casework. Many new opportunities for research.

In March the DFRWS will have its conference in Dublin, which has a good program.Of course I also will do some casework and some lecturing,which both are also very nice to do and combine with research in the field. In the lab several student trainees that are doing research on camera identification, vein comparison, soft biometrics as well forensic drone examination, to find relevant digital traces and e-glasses.