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PC Screen Recorder To Aid In Child Porn Detection Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 May 2007

The China Grove Police Department in North Carolina, USA, is using the BB FlashBack screen recorder SDK to develop an evidence logging application for use in anti-child porn operations by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The SDK will be used to develop a screen recording/IP traffic logging application, integrated into a suite of law enforcement tools, for use by the police department to aid undercover online investigations.

Roger Hosey, a reserve police officer with previous experience as a network administrator, first realised a need for a high-end, yet easy-to-use screen recorder, when he was attending an online investigations course taught by the North Carolina Computer Crime Unit. He observed that investigators were using off-the-shelf tools designed for general recording, which were unnecessarily complex for their needs, leading to confusion amongst some of the less experienced officers. In addition, as a result of tight budgets, many agencies were using the very cumbersome, but free, Windows media encoder for screen recording.

Roger said: “No standard toolset exists for capturing and maintaining online evidence.  Because of this, Investigators rely on general purpose applications, which were not designed as law enforcement tools, but as general network management and desktop productivity applications. 

“The lack of integration between tools can make maintaining and preparing evidence and tedious and time consuming task.  Furthermore, lack of standardisation of tools can create problems for officers attempting to share data in a multi-jurisdictional case.”

Roger’s goal was to develop an integrated suite of freely available tools for sworn law enforcement officers to use in gathering, organising, researching, and presenting digital evidence in cases regarding the online exploitation of children. The core of the application would be the intuitive screen recording/IP traffic logging application.

Blueberry donated a free SDK licence for the application’s development.

Roger said: “A very gracious company donated an SDK license for a packet capture/traffic analysis component.  With Blueberry’s donation as well, I should be able provide officers with an indispensable tool in the battle against the exploitation of children.”

Roger went on to describe the application he had in mind: “Once completed, the application will assist law enforcement officers in conducting undercover online investigations of child predators. The application will offer the ability, via the FlashBack SDK, for officers to record and log all chat and online interactions with the predators into evidence. In addition, the application will contain a system for case documentation and for maintaining the integrity of undercover identities. Finally, Integrated IP logging & traffic analysis will help officers identify the IP address and Internet Service Provider used by the offender. 

“This information will be used, with a court issued subpoena, to obtain the subscriber information from the ISP. Once enough evidence is obtained, the officer can burn it to a disc and present it to a judicial official to obtain search and/or arrest warrants.”

The evidence logging application will contain several integrated components, allowing officers to:

·        Log connection information to identify suspects IP address

·        Determine the ISP used by a suspect

·        Perform screen recording (via the BB SDK)

·        Organize chat transcripts, screen recordings & case notes

·        Maintain critical information regarding undercover online personas

·        Verify case file integrity for aiding in court admissibility

·        Print reports and records to assist in obtaining search / arrest warrants / subpoenas

·        Burn video evidence (screen recordings) to recordable DVD discs for court presentation

In closing, Roger said: “In the battle against internet predators, screen recordings are an indispensable piece of evidence.

“When I began searching for a solution to provide this vital functionality to my application I focused on open-source offerings.  After weeks of drudging through sparsely documented, feature limited, and unsupported code I was exasperated.

“As I evaluated professional developed components the answer to my problem became immediately apparent. From the moment I touched it, the Blueberry Flashback SDK has consistently exceeded my expectations. The components are well designed and intuitive.  What few questions I did have were quickly resolved by referencing the included sample applications or the comprehensive, concise documentation. Within an hour I was able to add a working prototype to my application.”

Notes for Editors:

You can find out more about BB FlashBack and Blueberry Software at http://www.bbsoftware.co.uk.

A trial version of BB FlashBack SDK is now available for download at: http://www.bbsoftware.co.uk/bbflashbacksdk/download.aspx 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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