Paper says IP addresses are misused by law enforcement as electronic evidence

A paper published earlier this month by the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that law enforcement authorities (LEA) are increasingly misusing and misunderstanding Internet Protocol (IP) addresses as electronic evidence to investigate crimes. According to the paper, LEA often overstate the reliability of IP address information, ‘using metaphors that create a sense of certainty where it does not always exit’. The use of IP addresses alone, without additional information can result in ‘dangerous, frightening, and resource-wasting police raids based on warrant issues without proper investigation’. The authors also outline several suggestions on how LEA and courts can use IP addresses responsibly in criminal investigations.