Forensics under martial law: Lori Whalen talks more about the Ottawa Case Study

HTCIA Ottawa’s storyboard for its annual case study was so compelling that we wanted to find out more: did their scenario have anything to do with Toronto’s recent experience? What’s the purpose of their case studies? And what do attendees learn? We interviewed program director Lori Whalen:

HTCIA: This scenario is striking, coming just after the unrest in Toronto with the G20. How did you come up with the idea, and why?

LW: The Annual Fall Case Study purpose and focus is to identify trends and to expose our membership to new ideas in the field of investigation and security. This year’s study looks at security and investigations in an operational, in-field context, where time is critical, along with results. We look at how we can explore real-time practices, and the benefits, along with the challenges and requirements to perform the function in this study.

The topic was proposed in December 2009 for the Fall Case Study 2010, it takes considerable coordination to pull off our annual case studies, but it’s worth it!

HTCIA: What will the three different phases be? Do members need to attend all 3 to get the full benefit of the study, or can they attend just one or two?

LW: Each Phase of the Annual Fall Case Study focuses on a certain aspect of the scenario. Phase I is the introduction of the scenario, the issue, and the parties involved in the study. Phase II offers further review of the scenario, and delves into the complexity of the situation and technical overview, and explores the real issues at hand, Phase III is the investigation, and the outcome of the investigation.

We also review the case study as a whole at the end of the presentation, and try to delve into any legal or policy issues that might arise from the scenario. As we begin each Phase, we recap the previous presentations, if an attendee misses a session they are able to catch up in the study.

HTCIA: What’s the mix of policy, procedure & practices you hope attendees will take away from this study?

LW: During the Phases of the case studies we review policies, procedures and practices both current, and what the membership and attendees would like to see in the future to support the work of our community as a whole.

HTCIA: This is the third case study you’ve presented. What were the other two? What was your turnout for those, and what kind of feedback did you get?

LW: In the past we have hosted case studies on “Organized Crime in a Virtual World” and “The Illegal Practices of Competitive Intelligence and Industrial Espionage” from a tech crime perspective. These studies generate a large and well spread audience, which is a big draw for our membership.

HTCIA: Who typically shows up, and how do the case studies enhance their existing skills?

LW: As the case studies include a wide range of considerations, including physical security, the interests of law enforcement and the military, intelligence aspects, the law and technology, attendees are varied from many communities, including police agencies, government, consultants, military and defence, legal professionals, technology, and the private sector.

These studies offer preparation and awareness training, along with community interaction to solve and build a base of techniques and procedures for challenging and frontier oriented crimes and threats.

HTCIA: How did your chapter come up with the idea for annual case studies?

LW: We offer monthly program events that cover a particular topic. In response to membership input, we came up with the idea of hosting in-depth case studies to explore a scenario in its entirety. We host the annual study to bring awareness to future crimes and investigation realms that are burgeoning on the frontier.

The goal is interactive, to create discussion and awareness for investigators and security practitioners so that we better prepare the community for the future.

HTCIA: Anything else?

LW: The Annual Fall Case Study is a large event, it takes several months of consistent coordination, and industry knowledge to pull together the right resources, create a relevant and challenging scenario, and create a cohesive study between the speakers and presenters. The Board allocates a dedicated resource to this program activity, and that is a result of our lessons learned over the last three years. If other chapters are interested in hosting this kind of event we would be happy to share our lessons learned with them!

Lori can be contacted through her LinkedIn profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/loriwhalen.

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