Conduct Computer Forensics without a proper license: Go to Jail?

posted in: LitigationSupport, Tech | 0

At least that’s what the rule is now in the State of Michigan. I agree with the commentary at the end of the article.

Commentary: It is disappointing that the Michigan legislature does not require licensed professional investigators to be certified in computer forensics before they can provide computer forensic services. The law raises considerable barriers for qualified computer forensic specialists to provide services, and may force parties to use potentially unqualified private investigators for computer forensics. I suspect that in many cases PI?s with little digital forensic experience will be paid to ?manage? the work actually being performed by digital forensic examiners who don?t happen to have PI licenses.

Much like the rule that exists in Texas now (only you don’t actually get jail time there.), the exception for private investigators seems a bit incongruous to me. Surely there are many fine investigators who are well-versed in computer forensics. Just as surely, there are some who really aren’t, but who will reap the benefits of this law because a business and/or their law firm doesn’t have anyone on staff qualified to handle this.

The other interesting thing to me, is this definition in Sec 2:

(e) ?Investigation business? means a business that, for a fee, reward, or other consideration, engages in business or
accepts employment to furnish, or subcontracts or agrees to make, or makes an investigation for the purpose of
obtaining information with reference to any of the following:

(vi) The prevention, detection, and removal of surreptitiously installed devices designed for eavesdropping or
observation, or both.

So does that mean cleaning spyware off a machine is now illegal unless you’re a licensed forensic investigator? What does that do to the Tech Support freelance business in Michigan? Do any lawyers want to take a crack at explaining this properly, since as we all know, IANAL. I just work for a law firm. 🙂

Technorati Tags: MichiganHouseBill5274, Forensics, Investigators

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