After my little introduction, you will read a joint statement of six computer forensic examiners. There is little doubt Clare Bronfman paid these experts.
Did she pay them to lie?
All these experts make their living selling their services as experts. Are they willing to lie for the money?
Are they all lying about their opinion that the FBI tampered with evidence? If they are, this will return to haunt them.
It will become evident if there is no substance to their claims of FBI tampering.
As AUSA Kevin Trowell says, they are making “frivolous” claims.
Is Trowell right?
This is good, and it is stark. This is something worth reporting.
For if Clare Bronfman bought six experts — all known in their fields – to lie – then that’s a story. A big story. Six experts – three formerly with the FBI – big in computer forensics – cannot lie and keep it a secret. It would be huge if they lied or made blatantly false allegations.
It will be a huge story and a big disgrace for these six.
On the other hand, if they tell the truth and the FBI cheated, that will be a story. A little story, perhaps, because, after all, we don’t like Raniere.
The six are:
Retired FBI Agent and Forensic Examiner J. Richard Kiper, PhD.
Former FBI senior forensic examiner Stacy Eldridge
Former FBI Special Agent forensic examiner Bill Odom
Former State Constable and Cyber Lawyer, Steven Abrams
Former University of Delaware Police Captain Steven Bunting
Software Engineer Wayne B. Norris.
We are all qualified as expert witnesses in the area of digital forensics. Together, we have a combined experience of nearly 200 years in digital forensics and law enforcement. All our analysis is based on the information used by the government during trial.
None of us have ever in our careers claimed to have witnessed government tampering, much less the scale of tampering that we’ve seen in this case.
But after examining the evidence presented by the government, we’ve all concluded that the digital evidence devices used to convict Mr. Raniere of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor were significantly manipulated.
Additionally, we know to a scientific certainty that some of the evidence was altered while in the possession of the FBI.
Although we don’t know the precise timing of the tampering, we do know someone extensively altered the media card used to justify the charges.
And we know dozens of files, including the alleged contraband photos, were planted on the hard drive and were made to look like a backup.
The following are individual statements
I worked in the FBI for about 10 years. It is clear that the photos in this case were planted there.
The alteration of evidence and serious breaches of evidence handing protocols are indisputable. And they appear to align with the government’s narrative at trial.
Additionally, official documentation shows that several FBI employees violated FBI policies, forensic protocols and standard operating procedures during this investigation.
These violations were atrocious.
Therefore, we strongly believe that anyone who has a high level of digital forensics knowledge, training and experience, and who has access to the same facts, would also conclude that the action of a person or persons in the DOJ or FBI resulted in significant tampering of evidence.
Based on the documentation that we’ve received in terms of evidence handling and violations of policy, it’s very clear as to which policies were violated and how they were violated, such as unauthorized FBI personnel accessing digital evidence, giving it to the US Attorney’s office when it was not allowed to be given, and even the conducting of a second forensic examination, which is prohibited by FBI policy.
In 25 years of digital forensic investigations, five of which was with the FBI, the amount of technical ability and premeditation to perform this fraud in the case against Mr. Raniere – I’ve never seen anything like that.
Dr. Rick Kiper
The technical findings in this case are extensive. But what we can definitely say, in a nutshell… is that the file access dates for files on one of the devices used in the conviction were updated while in the custody of the FBI.
That’s an indisputable fact.
It’s also not in dispute that the evidence handling in this case broke protocol; broke the FBI’s own digital evidence policy guides. It broke chain of custody, where one of the pieces of digital evidence was transported in an unsealed state.
Some other alterations that we see are things like timestamps.
And timestamps in this case were used as the sole evidence to date photographs, which would date those photographs where the subject of those photographs will be 15 years old.
That is the only digital evidence used in the case. We know that particular evidence – those timestamps – is unreliable.
We know from a forensic examination of both devices that that type of evidence was altered extensively. And so that evidence is completely unreliable.
And the FBIs expert witness in this case misrepresented the reliability of that evidence extensively.
Two examinations were done, which is itself against policy against FBI policy, unless you have a very, very high authority to do it, which didn’t happen.
But in this case, there were two examinations done, and the first examination was done by the first forensic examiner, Stephen Flatley, and he came to a certain report, forensic report.
And then Brian Booth did another forensic examination. And in the last week of trial. And his report contains additional information, and those additional files created a stronger relationship between the two devices, which was the goal of the government’s narrative in this case.
So what happened was that Stephen Flatly created his report that didn’t have that stronger connection. And then four weeks of trial went by, and he [Flatley] did not testify, and he did not present his report in trial.
FBI Forensic Examiner Stephen Flatley made a report on the camera card. It had only four files that matched the hard drive. He had testified in US v Galanis that Metadata and EXIF data is easy to alter. He was sent to Ghana four weeks into the Raniere trial.
And all of a sudden, Flatley received an assignment for overseas, and that camera card that he was examining was transported via other people and delivered to the second examiner [Booth] in an unsealed container. Then, that second examiner [Booth] created his report containing additional information that aligned with government’s narrative.
Now, Steven Flatley had testified three years earlier that the type of metadata that’s infused into the contents of files is not reliable. He said it several times during that previous trial.
And he said emphatically that the FBI would never rely on that type of timestamp data in order to date a particular file.
So, it’s the exact opposite of what Brian Booth testified in this case, where he was saying that the EXIF data was very reliable, very difficult to change.
There are 15 pages in the trial transcript where the prosecutor and this examiner [Booth] were discussing the reliability of this particular evidence that Mr. Flatley three years earlier had disqualified as reliable evidence.