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Thread: Want to repair PCs in Texas? Get a PI License.

  1. #11
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    But like so many other pisspoor laws, the primary intent is very clear.

    It's a money grab, taxation upon your career choice. The state gets money for every PI license, plus the renewals.
    You'd think with all that oil money they wouldn't have to worry about that.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

  2. #12
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    Instead of enacting that kind of bullshit law, they should require at best a disclaimer/waiver saying that by allowing the repairman/company to fix the system, that their personal information on the drive(s) may be seen by the tech doing the repair.
    dd if=/dev/swc666 of=/dev/wyze

  3. #13
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc666 View Post
    Instead of enacting that kind of bullshit law, they should require at best a disclaimer/waiver saying that by allowing the repairman/company to fix the system, that their personal information on the drive(s) may be seen by the tech doing the repair.
    I don't think that's really the issue though. I think it's more of someone bringing a machine and asking a tech to find evidence that can be used either criminally or civilly. The courts of course, don't like someone getting paid to conduct an 'investigation' without having the proper authority to do so.

    Personally, if someone outside of my job, were to ask me to do that kind of work, I'd probably turn them down, as I don't want to get involved in that sort of thing. If they're asking about criminal activity, then I'd direct them to their local PD, if they're asking about civil stuff, they should get an attorney.

    Billable rates for attorneys are much more than your everday PC tech, so people choose the cheap way to get their evidence.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  4. #14
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    What court would accept digital forensic evidence from someone who is not a trained/qualified forensic investigator?

    Surely "evidence" gained by a local PC shop repair guy would hardly constitute admissible evidence!?

    What about following the correct protocols, chain of evidence, etc?

    Does purchasing a PI license make you a trained/qualified digital forensic investigator now?

  5. #15
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Re@lity View Post
    What court would accept digital forensic evidence from someone who is not a trained/qualified forensic investigator?

    Surely "evidence" gained by a local PC shop repair guy would hardly constitute admissible evidence!?

    What about following the correct protocols, chain of evidence, etc?

    Does purchasing a PI license make you a trained/qualified digital forensic investigator now?
    No but the three years of schooling will at least make you aware of what you'll need to do to become a digital forensics investigator. At least I hope after three years of school your average new PI would.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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    So after a 3 year apprenticeship, you can then pay more money and spend more time becoming a qualified digital forensic investigator?

    Seems to me that, as the means to an end, that should be the first (and possibly only) requirement, and even then only if there is any intention of offering such services.

    Is the only point behind the PI license idea to ensure that any "evidence" gained by a PC tech is "reliable"?
    If it also concerns privacy issues, doesn't Texas have any data protection laws?

  7. #17
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Re@lity View Post
    So after a 3 year apprenticeship, you can then pay more money and spend more time becoming a qualified digital forensic investigator?

    Seems to me that, as the means to an end, that should be the first (and possibly only) requirement, and even then only if there is any intention of offering such services.

    Is the only point behind the PI license idea to ensure that any "evidence" gained by a PC tech is "reliable"?
    If it also concerns privacy issues, doesn't Texas have any data protection laws?
    Beats me, I've now added Texas as another state I won't move to. So now it's New York, California, and Texas.
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

  8. #18
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Re@lity View Post
    What court would accept digital forensic evidence from someone who is not a trained/qualified forensic investigator?

    Surely "evidence" gained by a local PC shop repair guy would hardly constitute admissible evidence!?

    What about following the correct protocols, chain of evidence, etc?

    Does purchasing a PI license make you a trained/qualified digital forensic investigator now?
    The burden of evidence handling I believe is much less in civil matters.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Did anyone actually read the law before ranting about it? H.B. No. 2833, Sec. 1702.104 (b) is very specific to "information obtained or furnished through the review and analysis of, and the investigation into the content of, computer-based data not available to the public."

    In other words, it applies only to someone who is specifically examining a computer for the purposes of an investigation. The average tech won't be affected at all, unless he's been doing any kind of investigative work. If so, he'll either have to stop, or become licensed.

    As far as I know, Texas is the first state to enact this, but in the past four or five years there have been reports in at least a half dozen states where lawyers have challanged the testimony of computer technicians based on the fact that they were contracted to conduct a specific investigation (usually in divorces or other civil cases), yet were untrained and unlicensed as investigators in any way shape or form. The trouble is that these technicians haven't followed the very things that Re@lity mentioned such as a lack of correct protocols, chain of evidence, procedure logging, etc.

    Expect more to states to follow with similar laws. Pressure for such laws is coming from a couple of different directions including courts, bar associations, trail lawyer associations, and private investigator associations. About the only ones who don't see it as an issue are the PC technicians who are causing the problem in the first place.

    Personally, as it becomes apparent what skills and equipment are needed to conduct this type of investigation, and as it's dramatically different from what most Private Investigators do, I think we may see this whole thing evolve to a subset of PIs called "Technical Investigators" or something similar. They will have the needed skills and equipment, but will be something of a rare breed.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    Did anyone actually read the law before ranting about it? H.B. No. 2833, Sec. 1702.104 (b) is very specific to "information obtained or furnished through the review and analysis of, and the investigation into the content of, computer-based data not available to the public."

    In other words, it applies only to someone who is specifically examining a computer for the purposes of an investigation. The average tech won't be affected at all, unless he's been doing any kind of investigative work. If so, he'll either have to stop, or become licensed.

    As far as I know, Texas is the first state to enact this, but in the past four or five years there have been reports in at least a half dozen states where lawyers have challanged the testimony of computer technicians based on the fact that they were contracted to conduct a specific investigation (usually in divorces or other civil cases), yet were untrained and unlicensed as investigators in any way shape or form. The trouble is that these technicians haven't followed the very things that Re@lity mentioned such as a lack of correct protocols, chain of evidence, procedure logging, etc.

    Expect more to states to follow with similar laws. Pressure for such laws is coming from a couple of different directions including courts, bar associations, trail lawyer associations, and private investigator associations. About the only ones who don't see it as an issue are the PC technicians who are causing the problem in the first place.

    Personally, as it becomes apparent what skills and equipment are needed to conduct this type of investigation, and as it's dramatically different from what most Private Investigators do, I think we may see this whole thing evolve to a subset of PIs called "Technical Investigators" or something similar. They will have the needed skills and equipment, but will be something of a rare breed.
    I had actually looked into starting a business about 10 years ago related to computer forensics since the state lab has about a 6 month backlog of work, and the local PD's get annoyed with trying to get things done via the state lab.

    What I found was it's incredibly difficult to get into the field and work directly with PD's. The training requirements that I found had a big pre-requisite that I didn't have. Basically before you could take any courses, you had to already be a LEO.

    I hadn't thought about working on the other side, working directly for attorney's. Even now thinking about that, makes my skin crawl. Ugh, I'd rather work with the PD's.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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