Author Archives: Darlene Alvar

The Investigator – Amped Workshop: Evidential use of video and images in an investigation

On the 7th December 2017, David Spreadborough, Amped Software’s International Trainer, will be presenting a workshop on the use of images and video within investigations.

David will provide investigators with all the latest knowledge and best practice to ensure they make maximum use of video and images that withstands the scrutiny of the courts. David will carry out practical demonstrations throughout the day and draw on relevant case studies of his recent experience.

Download the brochure for more info.

The Investigator magazine regularly runs workshops on many techniques and services.

This workshop is primarily aimed at the decision makers, but open to all frontline investigators who will benefit from having an increased knowledge of what is, and what is not, possible within the world of visual multimedia.

To register and for more information:

+44 (0)844 660 8707 or email info@the-investigator.co.uk

Can you trust what you show in Court?

If you present an object, an image, or a story to a courtroom, you must be able to trust that it is accurate.

How then, do you trust an image – a digital photograph, a snapshot in time of an object, a person or a scene? Do you trust what the photographer says? Or do you check it? Do you attempt to identify any signs of manipulation that could cast doubt on the weight of the evidence?

How many members of the public are aware of the Digital Imaging Procedure? What about the guidance surrounding computer based information, which includes digital images and video? What about the person that is receiving that file? Perhaps the investigating officer. Are they aware of the importance of image authentication?

Is the Criminal Justice System naive to believe that fake images do not end up being displayed in court and presented as truth? Even if it is a rarity now, we need to think of the future. To start with, we must ask ourselves, “Can we rely on the image we see before us? Has it been authenticated?”

Read the article published by The Barrister magazine to learn about the importance of authenticating images before submitting them as evidence.

From cameras to the court: How to make full video integration a reality

David Spreadborough, international trainer at Amped Software, and a regular expert witness in criminal investigations, charts the technical history of bringing CCTV images to court and provides an insight into the challenges associated with preparing surveillance images as evidence.

Read the article published on IFSEC Global

 

Altered images: The challenge of identifying fake photographs

Fake photographs have been around for almost as long as the camera, but in a digital age of photography, the ability to alter images has never been easier. EU Forensic Video Expert David Spreadborough examines the current challenges surrounding authenticating images.

Thanks to the latest administration in the USA, the term ‘fake news’ has become a popular method of explanation to an event created within social media. The problem is that news agencies and websites find these invented stories and then republish, therefore causing the spread and proliferation of the fake story.

You may have seen this image recently during the G20 meeting of world leaders. Looks like a serious conversation. It may have been, but Putin was never there. Find a picture, create a story, ‘Photoshop’ the picture, then tweet it. The fake news cycle then starts. The more relevant the story, the quicker the spread.

The modification of images to tell a different story is nothing new, it’s been happening since the early days of photography. A popular myth is that it’s a problem caused by the digital age. An example is the photo of The Cottingley Fairies. Although I accept that digitisation has made things a lot easier and a lot more convincing.

Over the past few months, entwined between the ‘fake news’ stories have been several reports of manipulated images appearing in academic studies. It is easy to understand how people can be swayed to change a couple of images to validate a piece of research if it assists in the success of a financial grant. Images in documents used to prove qualifications and images proving the existence of large, wild cats in southern England have also all recently been found to be fake, or maliciously manipulated. When someone fakes an image, it is simply to present an event in a different way than the original moment in time. Continue reading

Amped featured in Fraud Intelligence

Alan Osborn, from Fraud Intelligence, writes about the strong interest shown at the Forensics Europe Expo, by the Trieste, Italy-based company Amped Software, whose technology enables the analysis, enhancement, and authentication of images and video. Amped told FI how it’s very easy to alter an image and change the context and the meaning of that image, but hiding the artifacts that are left behind is much harder.

Click here for the PDF version of the published article.

Axon Accelerate Conference: Intro to Axon Forensic Suite

The Axon Accelerate Conference is on! Attend this two-day event to learn how to deploy the cutting-edge technologies available to you on the Axon platform, network with other law enforcement professionals, and help design the new devices and apps that let you focus on what really matters.

From June 20-21, 2017 you can attend numerous breakout session and choose the ones that are most relevant and important to you. Sessions cover topics on policy, products, security, Force Science, hardware, futures, media training, and so much more.

Join Jim Hoerricks, Director of Customer Support and Training, Amped Software Inc., for the INTRO TO AXON FORENSICS breakout session on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21, 2017 from 11:00 AM-11:45 AM. 

This session will illustrate the many workflows that are possible with the Axon Forensic Suite of products (powered by Amped Software), both as standalone tools and together with Evidence.com. The Axon Forensic Suite includes tools for the conversion of proprietary file types to standard formats (Axon Convert/Amped DVRConv), the restoration / clarification / analysis of images and video (Axon Five/ Amped FIVE), and the authentication
of images prior to their use in case work and court (Axon Detect/Amped Authenticate).

Click here for more info: https://global.axon.com/info/conference-2017

Interview with Marco Fontani, Forensics Consultant, FORLAB

This is the first in a series of interviews with a number of our users that will share their story. If you are interested in being profiled, let us know. We would love to hear from you!


In this first post, we speak with Marco Fontani from FORLAB, one of the main laboratories in Italy specialized in image and video forensics. We started working together in the European project MAVEN and since then, we cooperate with FORLAB on several fronts, including the technology transfer from the world of research into practical applications.

Marco, tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background and your current role at FORLAB?

My background is mostly in academics. I have a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and a PhD degree in Information Engineering and Sciences. I’ve authored and co-authored several publications on novel image, video and audio forensic algorithms. My current role at FORLAB includes a mix of consultancy and training plus some research activity (mostly carried out by following master/PhD students).

What made you decide to enter the field of multimedia forensics?

I’ve always been interested in multimedia security because multimedia content is much too easily trusted/relied upon. When I began my PhD in 2010, an important research project funded by the European Commission (REWIND project) was about to start, and I joined the research group of professor Barni to take part in this project. After the PhD, I thought it would be interesting to put my studies to work in practical cases. Hence I, together with other colleagues, pushed the growth of FORLAB, where the scientific and technological innovative results are transferred to the real needs of the forensic environment.

What would you say are the biggest challenges with multimedia digital evidence and investigating crimes?

In the age of terrorism, I believe the main challenges are related to: a) analysis and interpretation of massive data (e.g. images/videos shared through social networks, but also video surveillance footage captured by cameras spread in a city); b) poor quality of CCTV cameras, that makes recording useless in so many cases. Continue reading

CSI effect: the role of a forensic video analyst is a little more than just special Hollywood effects

“Often seen but rarely understood, the role of a forensic video analyst is a little more than just special effects”. David Spreadborough, Amped’s International Trainer and Forensic Video Analyst, explains what forensic video analysis actually entails.

Read the full article published in Safety & Security International magazine

Police Oracle interviews Amped to discuss how imaging software can help growing ‘question’ of authenticity

David Spreadborough, Amped’s international trainer and ex-officer at Cheshire Police for 24 years, tells Police Oracle how Amped Authenticate is designed to help law enforcement underpin the veracity of images submitted to them externally, allowing officers to apply the appropriate level of ‘weight’ to evidence.

Read the article on Police Oracle or click here.