Many times we have talked here about the different alternatives that we have at hand when we try to recover deleted files. Indeed, it is a problem that thousands of people encounter daily. And, although there are programs that have been specially designed for this, the truth is that the results never usually conform us 100%. In general, it is impossible to return to having all those contents. But what happens when it’s your own Justice the one that tries to recover those deleted files? Let’s analyze a little the different scenarios that arise.
The first thing we need to know is that when we remove a file from our PC, it never completely disappears. With some technique and a lot of sacrifice, we will almost always be able to have it back at hand. This applies from text documents to photos or videos. However, one tends to wonder what happens when Justice intervenes in its attempt to apply a law.
With the central role that computers and the Internet play in our lives today, it should come as no surprise that many cases can be solved from the information found on such devices. Any accused, knowingly, will try to delete the data before an investigation.
Issues to consider
Here we have to clarify some questions before continuing. For example, we tend to see in series and movies that nobody can get into our devices to search for deleted files, unless you have a court order. In practice, it is not so. Many times there are legal loopholes that allow these terminals to be reviewed as soon as possible, because a single hour could change the course of an investigation. In countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, Customs officials, without going any further, are allowed to check electronic equipment without a prior order, if they deem it necessary.
Once this procedure has been carried out, they can work by downloading that content to their own devices, and even seizing it if they think it may pose a threat to national security.
Of course, everything is done under certain rules, but when you are asked to show the content of your devices at the border of one of these countries, you better do it. It will not help you to claim for your rights or something like that. Chances are, you’ll end up in court with a more serious case.
What determines if they will be able to recover those deleted files?
There are several elements that we cannot lose sight of. First, everything will depend on the type of disk you have been using. Then, if you had an encryption system to protect your sensitive data. Although SSDs have now replaced HDDs, these authorities have mechanisms that allow them to recover deleted files under any of the circumstances described.
Without going into details about what happens to a file when we delete it from our computer, suffice it to say that the only way that there is no trace of them, is to write something on top of the space they occupied. If this doesn’t happen, even simple programs like Recuva will be able to recover some of that information. Let’s imagine what much more advanced softwares can be used that use the forces of order and the representatives of Justice.
However, it is true that, if for any reason you suspect that your computers are going to be requisitioned, you should use SSD and not HDD. These more modern discs make data recovery much more complicated by its own operating mechanism.
In summary, if the Police or any other force is interested in recovering files that you have deleted, they can do so as long as they have access to the storage space used originally. Yes, you can complicate things a bit, using encryption technologies or SSDs.
Of course, the resources available to Justice in each nation also come into play here. It is not the same to confront the IT departments of the United States or the United Kingdom as it is to face those of some Latin American or African countries. However, it is better that you do not test these either. In England and Wales alone, thousands of phones are considered to be pending review. Its contents could put the owners on the ropes.
To avoid this, in countries like the United States, short trials are held. In certain cases they can play you in favor and, in others, against you. But better not go through that experience.
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