Complicated Situations for Tech Consultants

posted in: LitigationSupport, Tech | 2

Bryce Whitty has a list of 7 situations you may find yourself in as a consultant, and asks how you would handle them. There’s some interesting discussion going on in the comments.

I do have one comment, regarding number 7 “A male client wants you to setup monitoring software on his wife?s computer because he believes she is cheating on him. Do you do it and get paid? or decline?”

Absolutely, I decline and here’s why. In the short time I’ve worked with evidence, I’ve learned the important idea of always doing everything by the book. If you follow the same process, regardless of the case, or the evidence, and that process is defensible, your work never becomes an issue at trial and you don’t have to make an appearance to defend it. This situation is the exact antithesis of that. Your work is the case, and how you collected it is absolutely at issue. You can almost guarantee you’ll be in court defending your work and what you collected. Unless you work in the PC forensics field, as a private investigator, or some other field where this is common place, you don’t want to start down that road.

Not to mention, as some of the commenters pointed out, if the PC turns out to be hers, you are guilty of hacking. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. But maybe that’s just me. 🙂

Technorati Tags: Technibble, TechConsultant, spyware

2 Responses

  1. Andy

    There were some interesting comments in that blog post and situations – On the wife/husband thing – would your answer be different if it was a boss asking you to do it on company computers?
    I know the boss’s have the right to do what they want on company property, but I was wondering how that would also work in the case of court action?

  2. Mike McBride

    Andy, that’s actually a really good question. Obviously, with it being company computers, the question of ownership goes away. That is not insignificant. I think there are some variables that would make me uncomfortable, if it was being done just to target one person for no obvious reason, I would have some reservations and want more details before I made a judgment on it, on the other hand if it was system-wide monitoring, or being done because of already suspicious behavior by an employee who might be putting your organization at risk, I’d be more likely to do it. The obvious difference in that situation compared to the husband/wife one is that the employee is not only doing something bad, they may be doing something that puts the organization, and therefore my job, at risk. There may be court action, and as much as I don’t want to do that, if it’s necessary to be involved in it as part of your job as the IT guy for that organization, then so be it. It’s not necessary to be part of the court proceeds for someone else’s divorce.

    If was just being done to be vindictive, or over-controlling, since the boss is paying me to do what he/she asks, I would probably do it, but start looking for another job right away too.

    A dilemma I hope to never find myself in, that’s for sure!

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