One of the interesting things about running Forensic Focus is seeing which countries our visitors are coming from. Of course, as an English language site it's not particularly surprising to note that a significant number of visitors come from the US and the UK. However, I'm always delighted to see just how many visitors come from other countries - not just other English speaking or Western European countries, but countries from every corner of the globe. Interest in computer forensics is certainly a worldwide phenomenon.
From some of the emails I've received over the past few years and posts to the forums (not to mention news items posted to the homepage) it's clear that the state of computer forensics differs widely from one country to another. What do I mean by "state"? A number of things, touching upon but not limited to issues surrounding: legislation, awareness, training, best practice, job opportunities, etc. It's also clear that things are changing and progress is being made in many places.
An opportunity exists for those of us in countries with more fully developed computer forensics infrastructures to assist newcomers to the field and, from what I understand, a number of countries are actively seeking experienced practitioners from outside their borders to assist with this process. That's not to say that building awareness and implementing change is a straightforward process, and no one knows a country better than its own citizens, but lessons learned elsewhere can often save valuable time and effort. Ultimately, though, computer forensics exists within a larger framework built around the use of and access to technology, the political climate, even social norms and values. The shape of forensic computing in one country may differ from that seen in other areas of the globe.
I'd be interested to hear what others think of the global state of our profession. Which countries are world leaders in computer forensics and why? Which countries are furthest behind? Is the development and use of high tech investigative powers always a positive thing? Please leave a comment!