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LOCARD architecture a 

One of the most attractive outcomes of the LOCARD project is the holistic forensic platform where law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories and judicial authorities, among others, can use to preserve the integrity of the chain of custody of digital evidences collected from criminal activities. The LOCARD’s public deliverable D3.5 (see HERE) describes the LOCARD architecture, its components, and main technologies. To this end, implementation details are provided at a modular level, by describing the functionality and operation of each module, as well as at an integration level between the different modules.

LOCARD blockchain 

The ubiquitous nature of digital devices such as smartphones, laptops and the IoT, makes digital evidences extremely relevant for criminal investigations on all kinds of criminal behaviour, including contraband, human trafficking, child pornography and murder. The LOCARD’s holistic platform aims to ensure the chain of custody through the forensic workflow, by storing digital evidence metadata in a blockchain. Blockchain technology, which has boomed worldwide over recent years, employs cryptographic and algorithmic methods to log and synchronise data across the network in an immutable way. In this sense, the use of a blockchain within the LOCARD platform endows trustworthiness, integrity, authenticity and transparency throughout the entire forensic workflow, i.e. from the collection of digital evidences, going through the processing of the stored data to realise incidents reporting, to the final prosecution in a court of law. The blockchain’s properties prevent disputing the chain of custody of digital evidences during a judicial procedure, a common challenge for many law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories in spite of properly documenting the entire forensic workflows.

LOCARD fingerprint LOCARD globe

 

Technology and ubiquitous devices, such as computers, smartphones and smartwatches, have redefined our society and the way we live. However, malicious entities have also learnt how to exploit these assets to commit criminal activities, ranging from financial frauds, intellectual property theft, industrial espionage to contraband activities, child pornography and even murder. In this sense, digital evidences are paramount in current criminal investigations related to all kinds of criminal behaviour. Indeed, emails, phone calls, SMS messages, hidden files, etc. are in many cases the only evidences. Therefore, ensuring evidences’ integrity and availability is crucial for being admissible to a court of law to achieve successful prosecution.

The APWG.eu participates in the design effort in the development of a chain of custody clearinghouse and management platform that would automate the collection, and chain-of-custody requirements, for processing and archiving digital evidence, from offline data captured from cellphones to online data intercepted in one-off video streams, web pages and databases.

The Lawful evidence cOllecting and Continuity plAtfoRm Development (LOCARD) system, a project recently funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, would automate the collection and documentation of every digital form of evidence in every format and medium. LOCARD proposes a comprehensive framework to make far-flung, variously captured and disparate data resources into court-ready, forensically sound evidence that complies with all the special requirements demanded for the forensic capture, preservation and presentment of these data.

New EU Project to Deliver Chain of Custody Assurance using Blockchain

BRUSSELS, 29th JULY 2019 – A new project has been started that will solve the challenge of assuring the chain-of-custody of digital evidence across national borders within the EU. LOCARD is a 36-month project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement nº 832735.).

The LOCARD project brings together 19 Consortium Partners representing law enforcement agencies (LEAs), academia, technology specialists and industry associations from across the EU, and is focused to address twelve stakeholder groups: LEAs, judges and lawyers; forensics laboratories; public authorities; victims; NGOs and voluntary organizations working in cybersecurity; business; media; academia; research centres; members of associated sister projects and consortia.

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EU flag Copyright © 2020 LOCARD. All rights reserved. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement nº 832735. This project reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.