band aid justice high tech crimes

On September 9, 2015, Fox News (Philly) featured a story on its website titled “An Inside Look at Camden County’s High Tech Crime Division.”  In summarizing the story, Fox News reporter Jennifer Joyce interviewed Unit Commander Thomas Di Nunzio of the High Tech Crimes Unit Camden County.

During that interview, Di Nunzio toured Fox News through the Camden High Tech Crimes Lab.  Di Nunzio noted several new technologies that help officers with the examination of cell phone data, but neither technology prevents officers from deleting information before it reaches a qualified forensic lab.

HIGH TECH CRIMES UNIT -NOT SO TECHIE

Continuing the story of the State of New Jersey (Camden County Prosecutor’s) v. Bruce Aristeo, where Bruce Aristeo posted commentary about the unethical conduct of public and private figures in Camden County and the Office of the Prosecutor.

Based on the January 27, 2014 iPhone Search Warrant Application below, it seems either Detective Christopher Auletto or Thomas Di Nunzio may have either triggered the internal iPhone security feature, thus erasing the hard drive, or deliberately destroyed the data and any evidence demonstrating its owner had NOT engaged in a criminal act.  In fact, detective Auletto suggests that someone in the High Tech Crimes Unit screwed up:

the digital data evidence is extremely vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional … destruction

In an attempt to cover up Bruce Aristeo’s Apple iPhone was searched without Court authorization, the officers required the iPhone be forensically examined by Apple Headquarters for the extraction of data the officers erased from the phone’s hard drive.

Below is the warrant, and under that is the pertinent text.  Be sure to notice how Detective Chris Auletto throws Thomas Di Nunzio under-the-bus by suggesting the High Tech Crimes Unit is unprepared to handle Apple computer devices and iPhone data extraction.  You may also take notice of how Christopher Auletto lists a series of events leading to his probable cause.  In another blog, we’ll demonstrate how Auletto fabricates knowingly false events to influence a judge’s approval of warrants.

TEXT OF SEARCH WARRANT 1

i. The volume of evidence.  Cellular telephones utilizing a computer style file system to store, organize, retrieve, and display digital data in a human readable form generally can store the equivalent of thousands of pages of information.  This may require searching authorities to examine all the stored data to determine which particular files are evidence or instrumentalities of crimes.  This sorting process can take weeks or months, depending on the volume of data stored, and it would be impractical to attempt this kind of data search on site.

ii. Technical requirements.  Searching cellular telephones utilizing a computer style file system to store, organize, retrieve, and display digital data in a human readable form for criminal evidence is a highly technical process requiring expert skill and a properly controlled environment.  The vast array of cellular phones available requires even digital data experts to specialize in some systems and applications, specifically in the case of an Apple Cellular Telephone (iOS device), extraction of such data is only performed at Apple’s headquarter in Cupertino, California, because digital data search protocols are exacting scientific procedures designed to protect the integrity of the evidence and to recover even “hidden,” erased, compressed, password-protected, coded or encrypted files. Since the digital data evidence is extremely vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional modification or destruction, the controlled environment at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California, is essential to its complete and accurate analysis.

b. Authorization is also requested to execute this warrant and to conduct forensic examination performed by a qualified forensic analyst at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California on all aforementioned items until such examination is complete.

THE UNLAWFUL SEARCH: 4th AMENDMENT

Law enforcement officers are prohibited from fully accessing computer devices prior to a qualified forensics team analyzing, securing, and transferring the extracted data from the hard drives.  This mandated procedure protects the integrity of evidence, if any, from contamination, tampering, or its intentional destruction by detectives.

Fox News never reported this!  When Detective Chris Auletto or Sgt Thomas Di Nunzio accessed evidence without authorization, they probably did not account for the evidence having its own security feature protecting the data from prying eyes.

But these officers did not stop there, nearly a year later they again attempted to retrieve what they erased by obtaining a second iPhone Search and Seizure Warrant, done from within the lab of the High Tech Crimes Unit…

Want to know what happens next?

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