Computer evidence is rather unique when compared to other forms of more traditional documentary evidence. Unlike paper documentation, computer evidence is extremely fragile and it occurs in the form of an identical copy of a specific document that is stored in a computer file. In addition, the legal “best evidence” rules differ for the processing of computer evidence. However, there is the potential for unauthorized copies to be made of important computer files without leaving behind a trace that a copy was made. Computer evidence is not limited to data stored in computer files, rather most relevant computer evidence is uncovered in uncommonly known locations. For example, on Microsoft Windows and Windows NT-based computer systems, large quantifies of evidence can be found in the Windows swap files or Page Files. In addition computer evidence can also be uncovered in file slack and unallocated file space. 1
Vinson & Elkins LLP Practice Support, EDD Glossary.