Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is being touted to inspire real changes in the judiciary sector thanks to its potential to enhance the level of security that is used to protect evidence during the process of trial. This is more vital than ever as the UK government is currently researching ways it can use DLT for securing digital evidence and identity information.
How Blockchain Can Help Manage Digital Evidence
The pilot project goal is to bring forward ways distributed ledgers can be utilized to simplify and streamline traditional court procedures like evidence sharing, identity management as well as to provide more control over the individual’s identity data. A working group formed to lead the project has already conducted an inaugural meeting where they discussed how blockchain can be used for securing digital evidence.
During the meeting, Dr. Sadek Ferdous, Technology Fellow and Research Associate at Imperial College, London explained to the participants that the decentralized nature of blockchain ledgers enables them to secure digital evidence and ensure the evidence chain is very solid. He went further to explain how blockchain can help in ensuring the provenance of evidence by creating and maintaining a well-defined audit trail that tracks custody and prevents tampering. Additionally, such a system would be used to maintain the records of all the court’s activities that capture how various forms of digital evidence are created, modified and accessed by what entity.
Using such records, it would be possible to create an accurate reconstruction and verification of the sequence of events and actions, thereby helping to certify the current state of the digital evidence. As such, blockchain effectively has the ability to guarantee the integrity of evidence through secure handling, storage, and retrieval.
Blockchain To Secure Digital Evidence
One striking difference between physical evidence and digital evidence is that digital evidence can be modified. In addition, there’s always a human element risk associated with all electronic data systems. This is where blockchain will play a crucial role. With blockchain, we can imagine a court and legal system in which pieces of digital evidence are embedded in digital code and stored in transparent, shared database, where they are protected from tampering, modification, and deletion. Once digital evidence is entered into the system, records cannot be altered or falsified.
By testing the potential of blockchain to secure digital evidence, the UK agency hopes to confirm its theory that distributed ledger technology can guarantee the validity of the document presented in court to be irrefutable. This technology breakthrough will likely lead to further adoption of the technology in the judiciary sector going forward.