Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence

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The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) brings together organizations actively engaged in the field of digital and multimedia evidence to foster communication and cooperation as well as to ensure quality and consistency within the forensic community.

If these are your interests, we would like to welcome you to our site. We hope you will find the information found within to be of benefit.

Read more in About Us

Mary Horvath, Chair
Federal Bureau of Investigation

James Darnell, Vice Chair
US Secret Service


- The September 2019 Meeting announcement, with hotel and travel guidance, has been emailed out to all members and approved guests. If you are a member or approved guest and did NOT receive the meeting announcement, please email the Chair. Anyone planning to attend the meeting must RSVP by September 4th. If you are new to SWGDE and would like to attend, you must first submit a Guest Attendance Request* located on our Membership page.
*The funding window is now closed and we are only accepting new guest/membership applications for those who do not need funding/can self-fund.

- New documents from the June 2019 meeting have been posted.
SWGDE is actively encouraging new membership! Learn about attending a meeting as a guest or applying for membership.
Newest Publications
SWGDE's most recent published documents are:
  • SWGDE Best Practices for Mobile Device Evidence Collection and Preservation, Handling, and Acquisition
  • SWGDE General Photography Guidelines for the Documentation of Evidence Items in the Laboratory
  • SWGDE Technical Overview for Forensic Image Comparison
Provide Feedback
SWGDE seeks feedback from the DME community on our drafts for public comment:
  • SWGDE Core Technical Concepts for Time-Based Analysis of Digital Video Files
  • SWGDE Best Practices for Digital Evidence Acquisition from Cloud Service Providers
  • SWGDE Best Practice for Frame Timing Analysis of Video Stored in ISO Base Media File Formats

Myth of the Day

Digitally enhanced images should not be admissible.
Category: All DME Myths
Digitally enhanced images that reveal features that exist in the image but are not immediately apparent through visual examination have historically been found to be valid and admissible evidence in courtroom proceedings. Case law generally supports the admissibility of digitally enhanced images. It may be required that detailed explanation of the enhancement process first be provided. Frye and Daubert challenges to the use of this technology generally have been resolved in favor of admission of digitally enhanced images. A digital image or film photograph that has been altered or enhanced, which produces an output that does not accurately and fairly depict what was captured, does present admissibility issues. For example, if a blue car is the subject of a photograph and the image is changed to make the car appear red, such an image would certainly be subject to objection absent further explanation. On the other hand, an image that has been enhanced to reveal a fingerprint on a patterned background by removing the background pattern may be admissible because the nature of what the image depicts (a fingerprint) has not been changed. In this respect, it may prove helpful to recall that under rules of evidence an “original” of the data (which is what is created when a digital photograph is captured) is not restricted to the data itself, but “any printout or output readable by sight, shown to reflect the data accurately.” [Federal Rule of Evidence 1001(3)]
See Myths