Microsoft serves the police a cup of COFEE

Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene of crime:

The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB “thumb drive” that was quietly distributed to a handful of law-enforcement agencies last June. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law-enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

The device contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer’s Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer.

It also eliminates the need to seize a computer itself, which typically involves disconnecting from a network, turning off the power and potentially losing data. Instead, the investigator can scan for evidence on site.


Is a COFEE a threath to civil liberties? In my opinion, not really. Maybe quite the contrary. With COFEE the police may loose the reason to actually and physically deprive you of your computer during a seizure.

But obviously, investigators’ use of COFEE must always by subjected to having firm legal grounds for such an invasion of your privacy. Thus, I don’t see the use of COFEE as problematic, if the police is using it under a court order or the like.

And what about us Mac users? Does COFEE only do the trick on Windows PC?

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