Dutch police covertly installed keylogging software on computers allegedly belonging to the man accused of harassing and extorting B.C. teen Amanda Todd before she took her own life, the court has heard.
Aydin Coban, 43, has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including possession of child pornography, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and criminal harassment in the high-profile case.
Marten Busstra, an expert in forensic digital investigation and a former member of the Dutch National Police child exploitation unit who was flown to B.C. to take the stand, resumed testimony Friday.
Defence questioned Busstra about a covert police team which had entered Coban’s bungalow in Oisterwijk the month before he was arrested in January 2014.
The team installed keylogger software which records everything a person types. Police then removed the software from the devices, just before Busstra conducted digital forensics, the court heard.
Busstra testified he did not know if this was normal procedure.
Earlier Friday, the court heard an exhaustive list of items seized from the cabin in the De Rosep bungalow park.
The more than 80 items included multiple hard drives, computers, a webcam, a directional Wi-Fi antenna, USB sticks and a Dutch passport in Coban’s name.
On Thursday, Busstra described finding an operating system favoured by hackers and designed to probe network security vulnerabilities on a laptop seized in the cabin where Coban was arrested.
He also testified the laptop’s user had recently run command tools which could “be used to misuse flaws in network devices,” and “gain access unauthorized” to Wi-Fi access points, and that he found a USB drive with a “manual” on how to use those tools.
Crown is trying to prove Coban used more than 22 online accounts in what it has described as a concerted “sextortion” campaign against the teen between 2009 and 2012.
Prosecutors allege Coban obtained video of Todd flashing her breasts, then tried to use it to blackmail her into performing pornographic shows for him. Crown alleges he also sent the material to her family, friends and school community.
The case hinges on the identity of the online extortionist. Coban’s lawyers have said there is no question Todd was the victim of crimes, but the question is who was behind the messages to the teen.
Defence argues it is easy to manipulate information online, and that there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt about who the offender is.
Todd died by suicide in 2012 at the age of 15. A few days earlier, she had uploaded a video that eventually went viral, in which she silently held up flashcards detailing incidents of online bullying and torment.