Digital Information in Criminal Proceedings: The Concept and Evidential Significance

  • Valentina A. Lazareva
  • Nina V. Olinder
  • Vadim N. PerekrestovEmail author
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 826)


The purpose of the study is to clarify the concept of “digital information” in the criminal process and to determine its evidentiary significance. The paper analyzes the concept of “digital information” and clarifies its difference from the concept of “electronic information”. We have drawn a conclusion that the concerned information is digital in its form, and the concept of “electronic information”, which is used by a number of scientists, is incorrect. Methods for the preservation, transfer and use of digital information for evidence are considered. The study revealed the main problems of using digital information in criminal proceedings. One of them is the confusion between the concepts of “electronic”/“digital” information and “electronic evidence”, due to the lack of understanding of the specifics of this information, the characteristics of its storage and movement, which can be explained by the rapid transition from industrial to information society. The adoption of information technology and digital information is so specific that users only see the tools with which this information is transmitted, it means, its electronic media (previously there were only electronic computers), hence the substitution of concepts. The inference is drawn that digital information with the relevance property contained in computers and other hardware (electronic storage media) may be present in the materials of the criminal case in the form of a printout of a text file, a screenshot of the video, decryption of a video or phonogram, i.e., in documents (paragraph 6, part 2, Art. 74 of the Criminal Procedure Code). In cases where digital information is attached to the materials of the criminal case on electronic media (flashcard, CD-ROM, memory cards, etc.), we can speak of material evidence (paragraph 4, part 2, Art. 74 of the Criminal Procedure Code). Thus, the addition of the criminal procedure law to a new type of evidence—digital/electronic evidence is not required.


Law Legal institutions Enforcement Evidence Digital information Preliminary investigation Digital evidence 

JEL Classification



  1. 1.
    Alexandrov, A. S., & Kuvychkov, S. I. (2013). About reliability of “electronic proofs” in criminal procedure. Library of the Criminalist, 5(10), 76–84.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chernyshov, V. N., & Loskutova, E. S. (2017). ‘Of the Problem of collecting and use of digital proofs. Social and Economic Phenomena and Processes, 12(5), 199–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fatyanov, A. A. (2017). About a definition “computer information” in the Russian criminal legislation. The Information Right, 3(53), 11–15.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Federal Law. (2006). About information, information technologies and on information security. Adopted by the State Duma on Jul 27, 2006 No. 149-FL (Russian).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kalitin, S. V. (2014). Proofs electronic and digital. Scientific and Methodical Online Magazine, 20, 3586–3590.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Olinder, N. V. (2017). To a question of the proofs containing digital information. The Legal Bulletin of the Samara University, 3(3), 107–110.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina A. Lazareva
    • 1
  • Nina V. Olinder
    • 2
  • Vadim N. Perekrestov
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.S.P. Korolev Samara National Research UniversitySamaraRussia
  2. 2.Tolyatti State UniversityTolyattiRussia
  3. 3.Volgograd State UniversityVolgogradRussia

Personalised recommendations