This is civil in the US. I work for a company that does litigation support - discovery. We have secure servers that we (the company) pay a lot of money for. Based on the case load we may need to scale up fast so must have expensive excess capacity on hand.
We lost some deals to bids that were less than our cost. I traced them out and almost positive they are using cloud computing. The reputable hosting companies typically have a statement about secure servers and signing for a chain of custody if they receive physical media.
I ran the cost and we can get server capacity on a cloud like an Amazon or Azure for literally pennies on the dollar and get (or release) capacity on demand.
The owner claims cannot satisfy chain of custody if the data hit a cloud. Is that true?
I know two questions is not protocol for this site but what if the cloud account is owned by the customer? We just sell software/service. Now the customer would most likely need to give us access to the data but very easy to only give us read only access - they control the cloud account. Anyone doing review would have read only access. Could a customer sign a (valid) chain of custody if the data hit a cloud?
I am clearly a techy. The original disc is still in a physical chain of custody. What is produced to the court is page by page tiff (or other rendition) redacted (or not) and stamped with a bates number. I know the law is the law and does not need to make sense but the original is not what is produced to the court. I am not getting touched a cloud would invalidate. Can you not just sign that Azure/Amazon was part of chain custody? It is not like the hammer that was used to crush the skull. Discovery data started as a clone of the collected physical disc or it was produces by the opposing party (still a copy).