Contributed by Shanmugam
In a nutshell, I have to first say that Malaysia has a lot to catch up with in terms of electronic evidence are concerned. That is the impression that I got after listening to the speech by Mr. Daniel Hains who is a senior associate of forensic.
It was a very informative and comprehensive speech that was well organised by the speaker. As for we lawyers who are not well versed with the technical terms and technique involved in securing and preserving electronic evidence, the speech served as a very good eye opener.
I have managed to educate myself with terms that were “alien” to me before this such as “megadata” and “digital imaging”.
Mr. Daniel explained in his speech that they use few softwares to secure or obtain electronic evidences and these evidences can be obtained from various electronics devices such as computer, handphones, Ipod, digital camera and etc.
It was also very interesting to know that any data in our computer is not completely deleted when we delete such data where it can always be relocated from the computer. I have also gathered from his speech that the courts in Australia recognises these softwares that are used to obtain or secure electronic evidence where the accuracy of the report or result are not often challenged during the course of a trial except for challenges on the “chain of evidence”.
During the course of his speech also, I realised that it is a time consuming and tedious process to obtain electronic evidence.
Mr. Daniel also informed us that as an expert witness in producing electronic evidence, he will normally prepare a detailed report on the electronic evidence that was secured where this report will also cover the procedure, methods and software that was used.
The speaker also shared with us his own experiences in securing these evidences.
It is high time for us in Malaysia especially in the legal fraternity to familiarise ourselves with knowledge on electronic evidence. We cannot close our eyes to the issue of electronics evidence in light of the facts where current crimes that is taking place in Malaysia involves high level of technology.
Gone are the days where we used to produce physical evidence such as printed documents. The pressing need for effective system of securing electronic evidence in Malaysia also calls for amendments to our Evidence Acts 1950 to facilitate the production of electronic evidence in our local courts especially the provisions regarding electronics evidence.