The norm in online social media is the use of pseudonyms, with the operators of such services, generally taking the privacy of their users seriously. It is trivial to create and operate such accounts for malicious purposes such as online bullying, defamation, and stalking.
The relevant digital evidence is generally posessed by third parties and often outside the jurisdiction of Australian courts.
Despite these challenges, we have a track record of successfully developing and implementing methodologies for preserving online evidence and attributing the identity of communications.
We provide expert advice, opinion and analysis services in relation to online investigations:
A professional claimed to have been defamed by multiple online pseudonyms in an online forum. The professional suspected that many of the posts might be attributabe to a single individual.
A methodology for engaging with and identifying the Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) associated with the the operators of the accounts in question was devised. A number of the accounts were found to share a single IP Address, which was identified as being associated with a residential broadband connection for a particular telecommunications provider.
The evidence obtained was sufficient for the court to order the telecommunications provider to provide the account holder details associated with the IP address.