Amped Authenticate is the leading forensic software for unveiling the processing history of a digital image. Amped Authenticate provides a suite of powerful tools to determine whether an image is an unaltered original, an original generated by a specific device, or the result of manipulation using a photo editing software, making its admissibility as evidence questionable. Amped Authenticate is used by digital forensic experts and intelligence agencies worldwide.
With the constant development and introduction of new digital technologies, digital images are now key sources of evidence for investigations. And thanks to social media and the prevalence of high-quality mobile phone cameras, there is a dramatic increase of images submitted as evidence by citizens and witnesses, to law enforcement agencies.
Modern digital images are mines of information: in addition to the visual content, metadata often contain precise information about when, where and who captured the image. But unfortunately, in just a few seconds, both visual content and metadata can now be easily manipulated to create credible fakes.
Without solid ways to validate that the information is accurate, these photographs could pose issues when they are presented as evidence in a case and in court. Therefore, thoroughly investigating an image and ensuring its trustworthiness and source is critical in today’s investigations.
It is also necessary to be able to link photographs to a specific camera and consequently to a suspect. Billions of images are uploaded to the internet and shared on social media platforms every day. Investigators are constantly faced with the task of trying to identify the person who posted the original photo on the internet. Linking a photo to a camera is now as important as linking a bullet to a gun.
Understanding if an image is an original or the result of manipulation is not an easy task. Only a few world-recognized experts were able to determine if an image used as evidence in court was an original or if someone tampered with it, making the photo unacceptable as evidence or alibi. Experts previously had to do this with self-made tools, very specialized scientific techniques, or a cobbled-together set of very expensive mathematical/engineering tools.
In order to permit more investigators and forensic labs to analyze the processing history of photos, Amped Software has integrated into one single software package, forensically accepted techniques that were previously only available to top-notch researchers.
Amped Authenticate empowers law enforcement agencies and forensic lab experts with very effective tools to identify tampering on an image and to verify if a digital photograph has been generated by a specific device. The camera ballistics feature in Amped Authenticate determines that a specific device - and not just the camera make or model – was used to generate a specific photo.
As opposed to other solutions that provide only one, or just a few tools for authenticating images, Amped Authenticate puts the power of multiple scientific tools, procedures, and reporting, in one software package to improve the user's ability to detect tampered images or determine originality.
All tools available in Amped Authenticate are based on peer reviewed scientific papers, each performing a different test on the structure of an image and how it was created.
The courts and savvy defense attorneys and prosecutors have begun to understand how easy it is to manipulate a digital photo, so experts are often asked to analyze the authenticity and provenance of digital images.
A practical example of this is the Beckley case that the Second Appellate District Court (Los Angeles, CA) ruled:
...In this opinion we hold that the prosecution's failure to authenticate a photograph ...should have barred their admission... We also conclude there was insufficient evidence to support the street gang enhancement of each defendant's sentence.
The court also decided that a photograph is a "writing" and stated:
...Authentication of a writing is required before it may be received in evidence. (Evid. Code, §§ 250, 1401, subd. (a)...)(People of CA vs. Beckley, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case Number: TA094886 6/9/10)
With this ruling, precedent is set in California for the challenge of any digital evidence on the grounds of authenticity or lack of scientific authentication.
As precedent is set by an appellate court, this doctrine may be applied elsewhere in the US where similar evidence rules exist.