A typical day at the Datamine Discovery office starts on Discord, a messaging app similar to Slack. We use GoTo for video meetings (most of the time), and occasionally we’ll text one another if the need arises. We hop from one platform to another with the ease of a frog jumping on a series of lily pads.
Now let’s say there’s litigation and we need to gather data from those sources. How does one collect all of this information when communication is done across multiple platforms with multiple custodians? We constantly switch the conversational context depending on our current needs. Furthermore, who joined or left the conversation midway through the stream? This means multiple collections and multiple custodians. Some programs, like Microsoft Teams, allow for export of information in the event of litigation. What this generally means, though, is that the information found in Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, Trello, and other platforms must be collected by an eDiscovery professional. Eventually even virtual reality programs like the Metaverse will require eDiscovery collection.
An UFED (universal forensic extraction device) like Cellebrite may be necessary to see how people are conversing with one another. These devices lawfully access locked mobile phones and other devices like SIM cards, hard drives, and drones for forensic review. It provides a map of connections showing that Person A first talked to Person B by cell phone, then by What’sApp, then by Zoom, providing unified communication channels.
Most of these collections are done remotely now and cause little disruption to the custodian in question. Remote collection kits are sent to the custodian and the eDiscovery analyst can start a remote connection from there. This works well for laptops and desktops, but the resulting information doesn’t show the whole picture. Smart phones and communication platforms must be collected as well, or else conversational context will be lost. This is why software such as Reveal Review is eventually necessary for this type of project: It uses one program to view hundreds of different types of files instead of opening hundreds of different programs.
Using software like Reveal will allow for comprehensive review of information preserved for litigation.
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Also, be sure to read our post titled “How Do You Collect and Preserve Text Messages?“.