Video surveillance evidence in court

Though laws vary by country and state, courts aim to verify that video surveillance is authentic (i.e. the video reflects reality and hasn't been modified). Camio provides several features that assist in proving that recorded video has been produced as evidence without any possibility of tampering or modification:

  1. The SHA checksum of the video content itself is computed immediately upon storing each video file from the camera's video stream. Since any modification of the video file would alter its SHA checksum hash value, this checksum hash provides proof that any digital copy of the video is exactly the same as the original.
  2. Write-once metadata, stored with every video event, also includes the SHA checksum hash of the the video file content with the associated timestamps that were recorded on tamper-proof cloud servers. The creation timestamps in the metadata are never altered, and cloud-generated timestamps, which are virtually immune to clock drift and timezone problems, can be used to corroborate the timestamps of the video at the time of recording.
  3. Reliable timestamps are created by system clocks that are continually verified by, and synchronized with, cloud servers. So regardless of the camera’s own clock, or the clock of an on-premise NVR/VMS, Camio ensures that the video’s recorded timestamps are accurate.
  4. Link sharing that enables video to remain in-situ as it’s reviewed quickly, without complicating the chain of custody with the tracking of physical media being shared via USB thumb drives or email attachments.
  5. Verified downloads include the original SHA checksum as proof that the video file submitted as evidence is an exact digital copy of the original.

Downloading Evidence

To submit the video from one or more events as evidence to the court:

  1. Select the events, and choose Download from the overflow menu (see "How can I download my video").
  2. Open the zip file downloaded in your browser. It contains copies of the original video files and a metadata.json file with the information required to prove that the video fiels exactly match the originals.

  3. Submit the video files themselves along with the contents of the metadata.json file as evidence. The date_created, duration_sec, hash, and name of each file is included in the metadata.json file as in this example below.

    "files": [
            "date_created": "2017-12-15T13:41:13.398-0000",
            "duration_sec": 10.811,
            "hash": "5ab887bbe4385e77ec4ff2c92e3f62f44420e011",
            "name": "0000-0001.2017-12-15-05-41-13.mp4"
            "date_created": "2017-12-15T13:41:01.786-0000",
            "duration_sec": 10.927,
            "hash": "8e6f8dbe3d9f0d594beb3982e82d05e6250a5613",
            "name": "0000-0000.2017-12-15-05-41-01.mp4"
    "url": ";q=east+west"
Field Description
date_created The timestamp of the first frame of the video as it was received by Camio Box on the local network.
duration_sec The duration of the video in seconds. So the timestamp of the last frame of the video is date_created + duration_sec.
hash The SHA checksum hash of the original video content.
name The name given to the file as it was downloaded.
url The URL at the time that this Download was requested by the user.

Forensic specialists of the court can independently verify that the video content is original by running the command:

$ shasum filename

For example, to verify the first file in the list above, run the command:

$ shasum 0000-0001.2017-12-15-05-41-13.mp4
5ab887bbe4385e77ec4ff2c92e3f62f44420e011 0000-0001.2017-12-15-05-41-13.mp4
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