IST 447 – 201

Spring, 2009




Required Text:  None – materials will be made available through MUOnline.


Instructor:  Margaret Phipps (“Peggy”) Brown

Office:  Smith Hall 735

Office Phone:  304/696-3086 (Takes message anytime)

Home Phone:  304/529-3423

Fax Number:  304/696-3085


Web Page:


Course Description:  Course provides basic information to the student in the proper procedures for seizing digital evidence used in the commission of crime.  Includes legal issues peculiar to seizing digital evidence. 


Prerequisites:  IST 446.


Computer Requirements:  Access to the internet and email through your Marshall University account are required.


Desired Learner Outcomes/Objectives:  At the conclusion of this course, students should be knowledgeable about (1) the Fourth Amendment; (2) search & seizure; (3) electronic search and seizure issues; (4) the requirements for introduction and use of electronic evidence in court.


Evaluation of Learner Objectives:  Assessment methods will include:  (1) written case briefs; (2) written examinations; (3) written homework assignments; (4) quizzes; and (5) class participation/discussion.  These assessment methods will be used to evaluate:  (1) the ability to read and comprehend text material, including research on subject, appellate court opinions, statutory material, and to sue critical thinking skills to develop a comprehensive understanding of the law of computer crimes, electronic search and seizure, and electronic evidence, and (2) the ability of students to integrate outside research materials, text materials, and lecture information so that it may be applied to hypothetical fact situations.


Attendance Policy:  It is not my policy to enforce attendance to my classes.  However, this class will involve coverage of a voluminous amount of material, in-class assignments, groups work, and homework assignments.  And, this material will be covered in a period of only four weeks.  Therefore, I strongly encourage you to attend class.  Attendance at exams is required unless previously excused.  In-class assignments cannot be made up.


Marshall University may be forced to alter its regular schedule due to inclement weather.  If a decision is made to delay or cancel classes, information should be available on TV and radio. 


Disabled Students:

The American with Disabilities Act has established a robust set of Federal Regulations that ensure employees and students receive fair and reasonable accommodations as they work and study. It has been my experience that students with disabilities exert considerable effort to achieve their educational goals. Moreover, I have found the accommodations to represent efforts in good pedagogy rather than special treatment for the student. As such, I hope each of you will work collaboratively with the Office of Disabled Student Services as the need arises.


Weather Policy: 

1.   Marshall University may be forced to alter its regular schedule due to inclement weather.  If a decision is made to delay or cancel classes, information should be available on TV and radio. 

2.   Marshall University’s Weather Related Closing policy is located at:

3.   I will do my best to contact students by email in the event Marshall closes the University for one or more classes for any reason.

Do NOT risk your personal safety to come to class.  If the weather where you live is dangerous, please just let me know that you will not be able to make class.

Classroom Civility:

1.     All students are expected to be in class on time (including exam days).

2.     All pagers, wireless phones, electronic games, radios, tape or CD players, or other electronic devices must be turned off before students enter the classroom.  This means no text messaging during class sessions or exams.

3.     Individual conversations are not permitted.

4.     Any questions that pertain to the syllabus, assignments, or grades should be asked before or after the lecture/discussion begins.  Questions asked during the lecture must be relevant to the topic being discussed.

5.     Respect different opinions and keep an open mind.

6.     All students are expected to abide by the academic dishonesty policy.  This means no cheating or plagiarizing!

7.     Students are expected to speak one at a time.  Do not be disruptive.

8.     Working on other materials or homework during class time is considered disruptive not only to the instructor, but to classmates as well.

9.     Do not use class time to catch up on your ZZZZZ’s.

10.    No food or alcoholic beverages are permitted (non-alcoholic beverages are acceptable).

11.    Students are prohibited from leaving the classroom once the lecture or discussion has started.  Only in the case of an emergency can a student leave the room.  If you need to leave class early for some reason, notify the instructor in advance.

12.    Support your fellow classmates and reward each other with positive remarks/comments.  This includes any editing remarks students may make when asked to review other students’ work.


Exam/Assignment Policy and Make-Ups:

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor if s/he is unable to take an examination.  If a student fails to contact the instructor prior to the exam or if a student does not appear to take the exam, that student will receive a grade of zero for the exam.  Those students who do contact me and have a legitimate excuse (including a family emergency/illness or pre-approved university sponsored activities), an alternative time to take the exam will be determined.  The format of the make-up exam will be left to the instructor’s discretion.  A student who is tardy on exam day will not be permitted to take the exam once the first student to complete the exam has left the classroom; the student who is tardy will not be permitted to take the exam or a make-up exam.


Academic Dishonesty:

Students must be familiar with Marshall University’s Academic Dishonesty Policy.  Academic dishonesty includes cheating, fabrication and falsification of data or information, plagiarism, bribes/favors/threats, and complicity with any of these activities. Students who violate this policy face sanctions included in the Academic Dishonesty Policy, including lowering of a grade on an assignment, lowering of a final grade, or failing the course.  The Academic Dishonesty Policy is set forth in the 2005-2007 Marshall University catalog on pp. 105-106.



Case Briefs

100 points

90-100% = A

Homework/In-class work/quizzes

Up to 200 points

80-89% = B

Exam # 1

100 points

70-79% = C

Final Exam

100 points

60-69 = D

Below 60% = F


Tentative Course Outline:





Case Briefing Instructions

Government Action

Jan 12-16 Late registration and schedule adjustment


What is a Search?

Jan 19 Classes dismissed – Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

Jan 20-Mar 20 “W” Withdrawal period (for individual classes)


What is a Seizure?


Exceptions to the Search Warrant Requirement

Feb 6 Application for May graduation due in academic dean’s office


Searching and Seizing Computers with a Warrant


Feb 13 Last day to drop 1st 8 weeks course


EXAM # 1


The Fourth Amendment and Computer Networks


Title III

Pen Register Statute

Mar 4 Mid-semester, 1st 8 weeks courses end

Mar 5 2nd 8 weeks courses begin


Stored Communications Act

Mar 9 Deadline for submitting freshmen midterm grades                        



Mar 20 Last day to drop a full semester individual course


Spring Break – Classes Dismissed

Mar 22-May 1 Complete withdrawals only


National Security

Mar 30 Students should schedule appointments with advisors to prepare for advance registration

Mar 30-Apr 3 Advance registration for summer session for currently enrolled students


Exam # 2

Apr 3 Advance registration for summer session open to all admitted/re-admitted students

Apr 8 Assessment day – Classes dismissed

Apr 10 Last day to drop 2nd 8 weeks course



Apr 13-24 Advance registration for fall semester for currently enrolled students





Apr 27-May 1 Dead week

Apr 27-May 8 Advance registration for fall semester open to all admitted/re-admitted students

May 1 Last class day and last day to completely withdraw for spring semester



May 4 Exam Day

May 5 Exam Day

May 6 Study Day – Exams for Wednesday classes 3 pm or after will be held

May 7 Exam Day

May 8 Exam Day

May 9 Commencement

May 9-17 Advance registration/schedule adjustment for fall semester suspended


Grade Inquiries:

Student materials will be returned as soon as graded to the student. If the student has a question about a grade on an assignment, the student must bring the assignment to the professor. No grade inquiries about specific assignments will be explored without the questioned assignment. It is the student's responsibility to keep their materials. Final examinations and materials not picked up will be kept in my office for 30 days into the next semester. A student may pick up their final examination and other materials after grades are turned in for the semester until thirty days into the next semester. At that time, finals and all other material not claimed will be destroyed.