Monday, December 10, 2007

Smile for Your Camera-Phone

If you're going to take your own picture while committing a crime, or record often indisputable evidence of your involvement, then please do it with a smile. See this story about Morgan Kipper:
Last year, Morgan Kipper was booked on charges of stealing cars and reselling their parts. He declared his innocence, but his cellphone suggested otherwise: Its screen saver pictured Mr. Kipper behind the wheel of a stolen yellow Ferrari.

Mr. Kipper, 27, joined a growing group of camera-phone owners who can't seem to resist capturing themselves breaking the law. "As a criminal defense attorney, it's very difficult when a client proclaims his innocence but incriminates himself by taking photos of the stolen items," says William Korman, the Boston attorney who represented Mr. Kipper. The snap-happy chop-shop owner, who pleaded guilty in April, is now serving a sentence of two-and-a-half to five years and couldn't be reached for comment.
The forensic challenges related to obtaining incriminating evidence from a camera-phone are different than those related to obtaining it from a personal computer. However, companies now sell forensic software designed to help the police download data from camera-phones without corrupting the evidence. The article went on to say:
. . . camera-phones seem particularly well-suited to spontaneous self-incrimination. Unlike traditional cameras, cellphones are always brought along, increasing the temptation to snap a picture and boosting the likelihood the phone will be on or near the criminal upon arrest.
So don't succumb to the temptation of recording your misdeeds for old-time-sake. First, avoid trouble by obeying your federal, state, and local laws. And for goodness sake, use some common sense when deciding what to snap pictures of.

No comments: