U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | "evidence tampering"

"evidence tampering"

On Tue, 5 Sep 2006, Camden Hardy wrote:

"...calls for works that specifically question the nature of visual
documentation, including its definition, potentials, semiotic systems, and
social resonances in a Post-Modern world."

I interpret this as saying, "so photography has the ability to distort the
truth...now what are we, as photographers, going to do about it?"
A book on this topic was published about 7 years ago, I think by Frank Richie (or someone like that)... I have it around here somewhere, but it struck me as more or less re-laboring the obvious & only partially true, anyway. (Basically his point was that digital made trickery possible, but IMO, as noted, 'twas ever thus, just not so easy.)

However I have a question. There was a fair amount of police chicanery with videotapes of arrests during the Republican National Convention in NYC in 2004 -- actually quite amusing, if police lies and evidence tampering strike one's funny bone. Independent videotapes were located that showed the deleted parts, as reported at several points by the NY Times. But then, sometime last year (I have the clip, just not in front of me) the Times mentioned, almost in passing, that something like 400 (FOUR HUNDRED !) police prosecutions had to be dropped because the tapes had been found to be "improperly edited." (I think Mark would add "heh heh heh.")

I took that to mean, tampering had been detected again -- on the videotape. My question, which I figure some of the digital mavens around here would know, is, can you see by examining a jpeg (or digital camera file) if that's been altered as apparently you can with video?

I would assume if it's been saved in a different format, editing would not be detectable. But if it were saved in the same jpeg format ????

(Just wondering, not planning anything.)