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Defence in Amanda Todd 'sextortion' trial zeroes in on missing data

Lawyer for Dutch man charged with extortion and child porn offences raises questions about gap in digital investigator's report to Crown prosecutors

A now-retired Toronto Police Service officer and a Crown witness who gave expert descriptions about online investigations wrapped up his testimony today (June 30) after four days on the stand at the trial involving Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd.

Warren Bulmer was flown in from Brisbane, where he now works for the Australian Federal Police.

In cross-examination on Thursday, defence counsel Joe Saulnier drilled down on data missing in Bulmer’s report to the Crown, as well as similarities between Facebook accounts associated with case — specifically Tyler Boo and Marc Cameron’s.

Asked why large chunks of session data were absent from those accounts, Bulmer said he had no explanation.

However, he testified, for accounts that showed repeated terminations or “log outs,” the social media giant may have had security concerns and was “doing its checks and balances,” Bulmer told Justice Martha Devlin and the jury at BC Supreme Court in New Westminster.

For an online account named Thomas Cocopops, it also had seven months' worth of missing data, the court heard, and its device and browser didn’t register when Bulmer did his analysis.

Still, Bulmer said, the user access device (UAD) coding can be changed.

Bulmer was also questioned about copies and deletions of machine cookies — small files used by websites to gain information about users through their devices — as well as recovered files from a device’s unallocated space. 

And he explained to the jury about virtual private networks (VPN), proxy servers and the Tor browser, which is also known as the dark web.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Louise Kenworthy said Crown Counsel will prove Aydin Coban of The Netherlands was behind 22 fake accounts in a “persistent campaign of online sextortion” against Todd.

Coban has pleaded not guilty to 

  • extortion
  • importing and distributing child pornography
  • possession of child pornography
  • communicating with the intent to lure a child
  • criminal harassment

None of the allegations is proven in court.

The trial continues.