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I'm not sure I agree with that view. Independant testing by another lab should remove any doubt on the validity of a forensic, rather than forcing companies to open source their technology. And of course some form of certification/random tests that ensures that the company providing the forensic isn't a bunch of conmen.



This has nothing to do with open source. Competing companies can not suddenly use the copyrighted work, implement patented technologies, or for that matter redistribute the work.

I can go down to the government archive and as a citizen request to view blueprints of buildings. I may not copy the design to build my own building, nor use patented aspects, but I am allowed to inspect or ask a independent expert to review the design and find flaws. Unsurprisingly this has not killed the architect profession, nor forced construction companies to open source their technologies.


But how can you verify that the two independent companies aren't both using the same faulty code? You could ask someone under oath, but how would they know whether an employee bought or stole code from the competitor, or they both made similar errors in implementing a published algorithm, etc? As mentioned regarding Volkswagen, black box testing doesn't necessarily cut it (especially if the flaws are statistical in nature or triggered in unusual circumstances, and more so if they are deliberate).


How can you currently verify that 2 labs aren't using the same faulty forensic process when it comes to other types of evidence? Most forensic evidence isn't 100% conclusive things like DNA and fingerprint identification aren't a 1 to 1 unique match they are usually in the range of 1 out of 100-400,000 match.

This is sufficient for most cases because the likelihood of that evidence being "wrong" when you combine it with other factors like motive, eye-witness accounts and other non-physical evidence is very slim.


I'm not sure but would hope that traditional forensic labs and processes are also open to scrutiny. E.g. if the defense suggests that some important mark on the body could have been introduced while it was being handled, it should be possible to show why that couldn't happen with the procedures that were followed, and that the procedures were followed.


They need to meet the specific regulatory requirements in their jurisdictions but it doesn't necessarily means that they are easy to inspect.

On the body part it's a bit more complicated it's more a CSI effect people think that all cases have tons of physical evidence and that everything is cool and flashy and high-techy in reality most cases have very little physical evidence and labs might not be used at all most bodies are inspected at by the county coroner's office which might be quite inadequate of collecting that sort of evidence we come to expect by watching crime procedurals.


> On the body part it's a bit more complicated it's more a CSI effect people think that all cases have tons of physical evidence and that everything is cool and flashy and high-techy

I sat on a jury a couple years back and the prosecutor's opening statement addressed this issue in the first seconds of the case. He worked hard to make a distinction between reality and television. This was a smart move, as some of the people on that jury turned out to be dumb as rocks when we went into deliberation. I'm sure this is true of most juries.


As a logical middle ground, companies can (and do) release source code for review under NDA without becoming "open source" (Usually to government / military clients where access to the source code is a requirement for the contract. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_source#Microsoft_Govern... for an example). This would hopefully be acceptable for all parties concerned where courts are involved.




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