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New UK standard for electronic evidence

BSI British Standards has published BS 10008: Evidential weight and legal admissibility of electronic information – Specification. The standard sets out the requirements for the implementation and operation of electronic information management systems, including the storage and transfer of information, and addresses issues relating to authenticity and integrity of information.   
 
Legal admissibility concerns whether or not a piece of evidence would be accepted by a court of law. To ensure admissibility, information must be managed by a secure system throughout its lifetime (which can be for many years). Where doubt can be placed on the information, the evidential weight may be reduced, potentially harming the legal case. BS 10008 ensures that any electronic information required as evidence of a business transaction is afforded the maximum evidential weight. The process is based on the specification of the requirements for planning, implementing, operating, monitoring and improving the organization’s information management systems.

Specific areas covered by the standard include:
 
• The management of electronic information over long period, including through technology changes, where information integrity is a vital business requirement
• How to manage the various risks associated with electronic information
• How to demonstrate the authenticity of electronic information
• The management of quality issues related to document scanning processes
• The provision of a full life history of an electronic object throughout its life.
 
BS 10008 combines some of the content of the BSI guides, BIP 0008-1, BIP 0008-2 and BIP 0008-3.  BIPs 0008-1,2,3 are still current and can be used in parallel to BS 10008. BS 10008 is now available from www.bsigroup.com/BS10008

One reply on “New UK standard for electronic evidence”

Charles,
I understand from my contacts in the world of computer forensics that the standard that is used by UK law enforcement is ACPO 'Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence version 4'. In terms of provision of electronic disclosure I haven’t come across anyone even mentioning a BSI standard, let alone insisting upon its use. It might apply to the records management arena, where there is a business purpose to showing you have kept records in an acceptable format for a period of time, but not in the vast majority (if not all) litigation cases. Our focus is normally on tracking down the emails and efiles, not formally checking out their provenance. Whereas I’m all for standards, normally because you can pick and choose which one you adhere to, this one has a smack of a sales promotion rather than something we need to follow.
Be interested in hearing back from anyone in the litigation space on what (if any) application this has to our environment.

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