Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence

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The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) brings together organizations actively engaged in the field of digital and multimedia evidence to foster communication and cooperation as well as to ensure quality and consistency within the forensic community.

If these are your interests, we would like to welcome you to our site. We hope you will find the information found within to be of benefit.

Read more in About Us

Mary Horvath, Chair
Federal Bureau of Investigation

James Darnell, Vice Chair
US Secret Service


There are no announcements at this time
SWGDE is actively encouraging new membership! Learn about attending a meeting as a guest or applying for membership.
Newest Publications
SWGDE's most recent published documents are:
  • SWGDE Best Practices for Digital Forensic Video Analysis
  • SWGDE Establishing Confidence in Digital Forensic Results by Error Mitigation Analysis
  • SWGDE Minimum Requirements for Testing Tools used in Digital and Multimedia Forensics
Provide Feedback
SWGDE seeks feedback from the DME community on our drafts for public comment:
  • SWGDE Technical Overview for Forensic Image Comparison
  • SWGDE Position on the Use of MD5 and SHA1 Hash Algorithms in Digital and Multimedia Forensics
  • SWGDE General Photography Guidelines for the Documentation of Evidence Items in the Laboratory

Myth of the Day

Digitally enhanced images should not be admissible.
Category: All DME Myths
Digitally enhanced images that reveal features that exist in the image but are not immediately apparent through visual examination have historically been found to be valid and admissible evidence in courtroom proceedings. Case law generally supports the admissibility of digitally enhanced images. It may be required that detailed explanation of the enhancement process first be provided. Frye and Daubert challenges to the use of this technology generally have been resolved in favor of admission of digitally enhanced images. A digital image or film photograph that has been altered or enhanced, which produces an output that does not accurately and fairly depict what was captured, does present admissibility issues. For example, if a blue car is the subject of a photograph and the image is changed to make the car appear red, such an image would certainly be subject to objection absent further explanation. On the other hand, an image that has been enhanced to reveal a fingerprint on a patterned background by removing the background pattern may be admissible because the nature of what the image depicts (a fingerprint) has not been changed. In this respect, it may prove helpful to recall that under rules of evidence an “original” of the data (which is what is created when a digital photograph is captured) is not restricted to the data itself, but “any printout or output readable by sight, shown to reflect the data accurately.” [Federal Rule of Evidence 1001(3)]
See Myths