Amped Authenticate is a software package for forensic image authentication and tamper detection on digital photos. Authenticate provides a suite of different tools to determine whether an image is an unaltered original, an original generated by a specific device, or the result of a manipulation with a photo editing software and thus may not be accepted as evidence. Current products and processes are focused on one or a relative few scientific tools. Authenticate puts the power of multiple tests, procedures, and reporting in one package to improve the user's ability to detect tampered images or determine originality.
Understanding if an image is an original or the result of manipulation is not as easy task. Until now only few world-recognized experts where able to determine if an image used as evidence in court was effectively an original or if someone has tampered with it and thus it was not acceptable as evidence or as alibi. Experts have previously had to do this with self-made tools and very specialized scientific techniques. Today, the number of times that experts are asked to provide some insight on the authenticity of a photo are increasing at a drastic rate. The courts and savvy defense attorneys/prosecutors have begun to understand how easy is to manipulate a digital picture.
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.
With Authenticate, Amped finally empowers law enforcement experts and forensic labs with a tool able to discover any tampering that has been done on an image and verify if a digital photography has been generated by a specific device. Our camera ballistics determines that a specific device - and not just the make or model – was used to generate a specific picture. This tool scientifically determines the origin of a photo, not just a comparison of various patterns in a database. Amped has integrated in a single and easy to use package forensically accepted techniques that were previously available with custom tools on to top notch researchers. But it has gone farther than that: before Authenticate the main difficult of the analysis has been to put together very heterogeneous results coming from different kind of analysis, sometime in contrast between them, which left the expert a very heavy duty of logical analysis between the cause-effect of different issues.