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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'How to kill with a knife' seach on the internet used in court

Over a period of time, researches who deal with privacy issues have proven that it is possible to identify a person just from being able to look at their search records. If this required proof, then one need no look further than this case. In a case in the United States where a father was accused of killing his wife and daughter with a knife, it was revealed that he searched for the words 'How to kill with a knife' on six days before he actually carried out the murder:

A Briton accused of murdering his wife and baby daughter made an Internet search on 'how to kill with a knife' just six days before their bodies were found, a US court heard. "A search was made on Search was made with six words. 'How to kill with a knife,'" Lawrence James, a forensic computer expert and 20-year police officer, testified in Neil Entwistle's double-murder trial.
James told the court that the Google search was made January 16, 2006, six days before Rachel and Lillian Entwistle were found shot dead at their home in an upscale Boston suburb on January 22, 2006. On the eighth day of Entwistle's trial, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett told the court that records showed the suspect had searched the Internet for female escorts only hours before the murders.

It is now wrong to think that searches on the internet are anonymous. ISP records, home computer records, all such evidence can be found and inspected based on court orders and used to build a stronger case.

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