IP addresses in the context of digital evidence in the criminal and civil case law of the Slovak Republic

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This publication doesn't include Institute of Computer Science. It includes Faculty of Law. Official publication website can be found on muni.cz.


Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsidi.2020.300918
Keywords IP address; Digital evidence; Criminal and civil proceedings; Privacy; Personal data; Anonymisation
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Description Use of IP addresses by courts in their decisions is one of the issues with growing importance. This applies especially at the time of the increased use of the internet as a mean to violate legal provisions of both civil and criminal law. This paper focuses predominantly on two issues: (1) the use of IP addresses as digital evidence in criminal and civil proceedings and possible mistakes in courts' approach to this specific evidence, and (2) the anonymisation of IP addresses in cases when IP addresses are to be considered as personal data. This paper analyses the relevant judicial decisions of the Slovak Republic spanning the time period from 2008 to 2019, in which the relevant courts used the IP address as evidence. On this basis, the authors formulate their conclusions on the current state and developing trends in the use of digital evidence in judicial proceedings. The authors demonstrate the common errors that occur in the courts’ decisions as regards the use of IP addresses as evidence in the cases of the IP addresses anonymisation, usage of the in dubio pro reo principle in criminal proceedings, and the relationship between IP addresses and devices and persons.
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