Service Captures and "Seals" Evidence from Web Pages, Facebook, and Other Social Media Sites, Reducing Time, Cost and Effort Associated with Litigation Readiness
Reston, VA and Washington, D.C. – April 5, 2011 — Surety, LLC, the leading provider of data-integrity-protection solutions, and Global Colleague, a leading legal-process-engineering boutique, today announced AbsoluteProof® WebSeal™, the legal industry's first Web-evidence collection, integrity preservation, and authenticity service, designed to support the global increase in Web-related litigation and investigations. AbsoluteProof WebSeal leverages Surety's digital timestamping service, and will be delivered to the market as a litigation-support, managed service by Global Colleague.
This partnership will provide customers with a defensible methodology to collect legally-authentic and independently verifiable electronic evidence from Web pages, social-networking sites, and other Internet-based content. AbsoluteProof WebSeal eliminates the time, effort and costs associated with having to depose individuals or organizations responsible for the custodial management of such content, and enables rapid evidence collection when time-of-capture is critical.
AbsoluteProof WebSeal's core engine is powered by Surety's AbsoluteProof Service, a patented, cryptographical timestamping methodology that digitally "seals" electronic records and files, enabling customers to protect the integrity - and independently and irrefutably prove the authenticity - of their original electronic records throughout their chain of custody. With the AbsoluteProof Service, customers can confidently say their sealed content has not been altered in any way since the moment they were captured and "locked down."
Maryland-based attorney Timothy Gunning found AbsoluteProof WebSeal to be a critical factor in preserving important evidence in recent litigation in which he was involved. Gunning's corporate client needed to prove that an employee breached his employment contract by also holding a position as a management team member of another company. The other company listed the employee as a member of its management team on its website. Using AbsoluteProof WebSeal, Surety captured and "sealed" HTML and PDF evidence, proving that the individual was listed as employed by the other company.
"Securing the HTML and PDF files in a manner that no one could question their authenticity and admissibility was instrumental in procuring and preserving this important evidence," explained Gunning. "With AbsoluteProof WebSeal, we were able to obtain important unimpeachable evidence. Had we gone to trial, using AbsoluteProof WebSeal meant that we would have also been able to easily satisfy the rules of evidence and establish the authenticity of these important electronic records before admitting them into evidence."
As Web-based information is proliferating and becoming an increasingly important component of legal disputes and litigation, attorneys and organizations alike require the ability to document and preserve online content for use as evidence in correspondence, complaints, depositions, hearings, and trials—before the site and associated evidence changes. The top three social-networking sites alone (Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace) generate over two billion page visits per month, according to a recent report from Compete.com.
"With the amount of slandering, defamation, and misleading information being published on the Web today, we've clearly heard the legal community's need for an effective way to capture and authenticate electronic evidence from Web sites, blog pages, and social-networking applications for use during potential legal proceedings," said Tom Klaff, CEO of Surety. "Printing out Web pages or simply saving URLs in HTML or PDF form are not, by themselves, effective enough to overcome evidentiary challenges in court, as these methods do not provide strong enough evidence of originality or integrity. Even deposing Internet hosting providers or those organizations acting as custodians for the content can be costly. AbsoluteProof WebSeal is the first service of its kind to solve this issue by providing legally-defensible and long-term proof that online content has not been altered since the date and time it was captured and sealed."
"Integrating AbsoluteProof WebSeal into our legal services portfolio gives our customers a timely and proactive solution to meet various legal and compliance requirements," said Allen Dolberg, Director of Legal Consulting & Counsel for Global Colleague. "The service enables counsel and investigators to build a rock-solid case, possibly eliminating a costly trial."
With AbsoluteProof WebSeal, Global Colleague customers can capture, lock down, and successfully argue the authenticity of online information in an immediate, cost-effective, and vendor-neutral manner that creates a unique digital "fingerprint" of the original content at a specific point in time. If that Web content is changed, then the original fingerprint will not match, thus indicating tampering and questionable authenticity. "AbsoluteProof WebSeal provides our customers with a certificate of authenticity and a report that can be admitted as evidence. This process eliminates hours of billable research and expensive experts affidavits and testimony," said Dolberg.
Legally-defensible Proof of Authenticity
Web pages captured and timestamped using AbsoluteProof WebSeal qualify for Surety's Legal Defensibility Guarantee program, designed to give customers confidence that the "sealed" Web-based content will withstand the most vigorous legal scrutiny. Under the guarantee, customers receive access to sworn affidavits and expert-witness testimony to the quality of the underlying technology, confirming that the seals provided by Surety are authentic and have not been compromised, as well as a money-back guarantee should a federal, state, or local court in any jurisdiction or country render a final and non-appealable decision that Surety has not been able to satisfy its claims.
AbsoluteProof WebSeal is immediately available as a litigation-support managed service from Global Colleague.
About Surety, LLC
Founded in 1994 by leading Bellcore Scientists, Surety is recognized as a premiere third-party, digital timestamping authority. With millions of electronic records and files worldwide protected under its authenticity seal, the company's flagship service offering AbsoluteProof® enables organizations to meet the legal, fiduciary and regulatory responsibilities associated with creating, managing and archiving electronic records, files and data by providing legally defensible evidence of data integrity and authenticity. AbsoluteProof ensures against content or record tampering by providing a "digital wax seal" for all types of electronically stored content. The company's client base is made up of life sciences and biotechnology research laboratories, legal and financial services firms, healthcare organizations, managed services providers and copyright protection agencies that are ensuring record integrity and authenticity with AbsoluteProof. For more information, visit www.surety.com.
About Global Colleague
Global Colleague is an international consulting boutique that creates high-performance legal organizations through innovative applications of people, process, and technology. An innovator and pioneer in managed discovery solutions for the Fortune 500, Global Colleague helps organizations improve efficacy in compliance, transaction, and dispute management. One example is Global Colleague's Unified Document Review Service that provides seamless document review across multiple languages by native speakers while minimizing the cost of technology. For more information, visit www.globalcolleague.com.