Case Study on Illegal Digital Materials

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Employees work onsite, and conduct most business exchanges over email. All of the employees work in Windows environments, although each employee prefers different software (e.g. Outlook vs. Thunderbird).

A functioning workstation originally belonging to m57.biz was purchased on the secondary market. The buyer (Aaron Greene) realizes that the previous owner of the computer had not erased the drive, and finds illegal digital images and videos on it. Aaron reports this to the police, who take possession of the computer.

Police contact Pat McGoo (the CEO). Pat authorizes imaging of all other computer equipment on site at M57 to support additional investigation. Police further pursue a warrant to seize a personal thumb drive belonging to Jo. You are given disk images from all of the computers and USB devices found onsite at M57, along with a USB thumb drive belonging to Jo. You are also provided with four detective reports and a search warrant and affidavit associated with seizure of the USB drive.

  • Is Jo the owner of these files? What evidence is there to confirm or reject this?
  • How did the computer come to be sold on the secondary market?
  • Who (if anyone) was involved in the sale (theft?) of the computer?
  • Were any attempts made to hide these activities?

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