I love science of any sort. I love to learn. Science is fun!

Today I got a rare treat in the Casey Anthony trial, science that I have a grounding in. Having spent more than three decades as a computer nerd, and having been involved in a couple of court cases involving the Nerding Arts, this was an area that I found riveting.

It never fails to amaze me as to how unaware people are about what happens on their computers and cell phones.

Digital Forensics is a science that some claim in someways is still in its infancy, but it grows in stature and importance every single day.

I listened with interest as the prosecution started the march. In fact I said to my wife Jan, wait for it, they are going to start talking about ‘Write Blockers’, sure enough, two minutes later the subject came up. I doubt that many people have even heard the term, let alone have one in their arsenal of computer junk at home. Of course my junk pile is compendious. If you want to find out more about Write Blockers here is a review. Well, the way I look at it, you never know when you might need one.

In simple terms digital evidence is like any other evidence. It must be secured and preserved. The mere act of powering on a computer can taint the data.

Today’s court activity showed the great lengths that investigators went to to preserve the digital foot print. In my opinion defense lawyer Jose Baez was simply out matched. It was in someways humorous to watch the relentless beating being meted out. I was reminded of a great Bill Gates quote, ‘Be nice to nerds, because one day you may find yourself working for one’.

The prosecution played a sensible hand, get the nerd on and off the stand as quickly and painlessly as possible. Nerd testimony only appeals to fellow nerds (oops that would be me). Jury’s don’t dig nerds, they get way too complex in discussing nerd stuff.  Jose Baez on the other hand seems bound and determined to dwell in the nerd world. This may be a bad play. Jose Baez can’t even spell the word nerd, so the nerds are eating him alive.

I am waiting for Jose Baez to ask Judge Perry to declare a mistrial on the grounds that the nerds don’t play fair.

I am sure that he scored equally poorly in discrediting the air samples experts, and the cadaver dogs. But those areas are outside of my arena. But to get beaten senseless by nerds, now that’s a problem!

Simon Barrett

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