TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Eric Ferrero, Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
DATE: Friday, September 25, 2015
RE: Forensic Expert Warns Congressional Committee: Don’t be Duped by Deleiden’s “Source” Footage
Today, the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committeereceived a letter from a leading forensic video expert, explaining that unless anti-abortion extremist David Daleiden turns over original source footage of all of his recordings, the footage cannot be authenticated. The committee subpoenaed "full footage" of Daleiden's tapes. To date, no source footage has been produced. All videos released by Daleiden have been heavily edited, and separate teams of forensic experts determined that the videos significantly distort and misrepresent actually events and are not reliable.
In today's letter, former FBI forensic video/audio analystDouglas Lacey explains to the committee that obtaining source footage is the only way to verify what was actually recorded, and he outlines what constitutes source footage.
From his letter:
"[C]onverted copies of the alleged original recordings to other file formats, video encoding schemes, and/or audio encoding schemes are not acceptable for forensic authenticity examinations. No scientifically meaningful results can be reached through the analyses of converted copies. This is a widely held tenet in the fields of forensic audio and video, and would be akin to attempting to authenticate a paper document based on a faxed copy, or an original Microsoft Word document file based a PDF conversion of that file.
"Generally speaking, 'source footage' would be comprised of all of the alleged original recordings, as defined above. These recordings should be provided in one of the following ways:
(1) On the alleged original recording devices’ internal storage onto which they were originally recorded and stored in their native file format;
(2) On the removable digital media onto which they were originally recorded and stored in their native file format;
(3) On separate digital media as part of complete, verifiable forensic images of each of the recording devices’ internal storage and/or removable digital media, with complete logs of the forensic imaging processes to include, but not limited to, the mathematical hash values of the source media prior to and following the imaging processes (a forensic image is a bit-for-bit copy of the entire data contents of a piece of digital media); and/or
(4) On separate digital media as bit-for-bit copies of the individual, alleged original recordings in their native format, with complete logs or written explanations of how the bit-for-bit copying processes were conducted from the alleged original recording devices/removable digital media/other digital media to the provided separate digital media, to include, but not limited to, the mathematical hash values of the individual files prior to and following the imaging processes.
"To reiterate, converted copies of recordings in their entirety or as compilations/montages of segments edited together from one or more original recordings do not constitute 'source footage'. These types of converted files cannot be scientifically authenticated, because conversion of the file format and video/audio encoding schemes almost always result in the removal of file metadata information crucial to the forensic authentication examination, the addition of file metadata information unrelated to the original recording, and the degradation and/or modification of the recorded video and audio information.”
In forwarding Lacey's information to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee, attorneys for Planned Parenthood Federation of America noted:
"In sum, unless the Committee insists that CMP produce the original source footage of the relevant videos, it might as well not request the videos at all, because they will not be a verifiably accurate record of actual events."
Linked below are the letters sent to the Committee's Chair and Ranking member today.
- Letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
- Credentials of Douglas S. Lacey
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
September 25, 2015