S Rawashdeh

Abstract

The ubiquity of social networking sites (SNS) and the amount of personal information they contain make them a fertile source of potential evidence. The nature of these sites, however, poses evidentiary challenges, in particular authentication. This article addresses the problems related to the use in criminal trials of evidence from Social Networking Sites and examines its implications in both English and American laws. It discusses the importance of social media in criminal proceedings, including access to and use of social media evidence, constitutional issues that social media evidence raises, and the authentication and admissibility of such evidence. Evidentiary standards developed for other types of electronically-stored information may not be adequate for social media. While it is submitted that existing evidential rules are largely sufficient for dealing with SNS evidence, further guidance is needed on certain issues, particularly authentication. Different types of social media evidence require different indicia of reliability. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should consider methods of data collection that will help to ensure authentication. Carefully documenting the process of data gathering, and using sophisticated software where necessary, will help to ensure that the fruits of discovery are not excluded from evidence due to a failure of authentication.

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Keywords

social media evidence
criminal proceedings
authentication
admissibility

References
How to Cite
Rawashdeh . س. ح. (2017). Evidence obtained from social media sites and their role in criminal proceedings: A study in the English and the American laws. International Review of Law, 2017(3). Retrieved from https://journals.qu.edu.qa/index.php/IRL/article/view/1279
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Articles