U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin speaks Monday during the first day of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence's third annual conference at Marshall University. (Photo by Kyla Asbury)

HUNTINGTON – The Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence began its third annual conference in Huntington on May 21 at the Marshall University Forensic Science Center.

The conference will provide information in four areas: digital forensics, electronic discovery, law enforcement and network security.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Booth Goodwin II began the conference by delivering remarks about how digital evidence has changed prosecution over the last few years.

"Digital evidence is so hard to get rid of," Goodwin said. "You can't shred it or burn it. People leave evidence in their call logs and text messages on their smart phones; they post pictures on Facebook of them doing illegal things. They are carrying the evidence with them everywhere they go."

Goodwin said the work being done within AIDE is essential in the digital age.

"We are very lucky to have a group of people here in Huntington with the expertise and vision on the cutting edge of this field," Goodwin said. "We have a tremendous opportunity with this field that gives us an advantage we didn't have a few years ago."

The conference runs through May 25. There will be discussions on topics such cybercrime, information security for attorneys, and approaches to incorporating electronic discovery into state rules.

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