Forensic Science Centre of Lithuania (FSCL) in cooperation with BAIP cyber security competence centre (since the beginning of this year – NRD CS) and Estonian Forensic Science Institute (EFSI), is currently modernising digital forensics laboratory which will allow reducing the queues for IT examinations, increasing the rate of investigated crimes and, therefore, elevating the overall level of justice in the country.
“Due to the global technology boom and disproportional growth of FSCL technological capacity, in recent years we have faced a problem also common in other EU countries – electronic evidence processing and cybercrime investigation becomes ever more complex, more time-consuming and requires more human resources. This has resulted in the queues for computer forensics doubling in recent years and lasting from a year to two years. As a result, the cases where the speed of the investigation might have a decisive influence on the course of the lawsuit are particularly affected,” says the director of FSCL Dr Gabrielė Juodkaitė-Granskienė. “Therefore, the main objective of this project is automation of digital information examinations which would reduce the queues for forensic examinations in the courts and create a precondition for effective prevention and fight against sensitive and severe types of international crimes”.
Currently FSCL performs 38 types of examinations, including IT examinations performed since 1995. Main FSCL clients are courts, prosecution services, police, customs services, security and special investigation services, foreign law enforcement agencies. Digital evidence is especially important in corporate espionage, child pornography and paedophilia, fraud and terrorism, among other cases.
“In today’s world connected by technology, it should not come as a surprise that digital evidence can play a decisive role in lawsuits and tip the balance one way or the other. Text messages, emails, photos, video clips can prove the defendant’s guilt or vice versa – create an unshakeable alibi. Therefore, not only the speed of the examinations but also the technology and the processes that ensure the authenticity of digital evidence and its chronological and content credibility are extremely important” said the CEO of NRD CS Dr Vilius Benetis.
Modern digital forensics laboratory will contribute to the increase in efficiency of judicial examinations of audio visual works, phonograms, computer game programs and video media, video and information technology in the process of criminal, civil and administrative proceedings. The skills of FSCL experts will also increase in matters related to cybercrime: industrial espionage cases, amendments of databases and information systems’ integrity, cases of personal data and identity theft and their use in criminal actions.
A centralized laboratory will allow for a more efficient use of IT workplaces in Lithuania – via the web interface not only the examiner but also investigators will have access to centralized resources. This will help to make the most of examiners’ expertise and increase their work efficiency.
“We hope that the project will also contribute to the enhancement of the digital environment security and advocacy of legal digital economy, and allow for a better protection of Lithuanian citizens and businesses that use the internet,” commented FSCL director Dr Gabrielė Juodkaitė-Granskienė.
The scope of an international project includes modernisation of FSCL and EFSI laboratories, preparation of forensic experts and improvement of their qualifications, experiments applying modern technology to the local legal environment, installation of new methods into the expert practice and refining the existing ones, distribution of potential application of expertise and technical equipment, ensuring compliance with ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 standards. The project also includes research activities and preparation of course materials designed for use in all European courts’ forensic organizations, and presented at international conferences.
The Project is funded by the European Commission Programme “Prevention of and Fight against Crime 2007-2013”. The Commission has contributed 507,625,20 € towards the implementation of the project, which will cover 90% of the total project cost.
Forensic Science Centre of Lithuania (FSCL) is a governmental institution of public administration. Its main task is to carry out forensic examinations required by courts and other pre-trial investigation institutions.
NRD CS is a specialized cyber security company and a cyber security centre of excellence for Norway Registers Development AS, BAIP and Norway Registers Development East Africa Ltd whom NRD CS assists in creating a secure digital environment for states, governments, corporations and citizens in Central and Eastern Europe, East Africa and other regions. For more information, visit the website at www.nrdcs.lt.