Wednesday, July 2, 2008

PI Licensing for Forensics Examiners

There is a flurry of licensing activity going on around the country for computer forensics. The current trend appears to be that states are requiring computer forensics professionals to obtain Private Investigator Licenses. This is just dumb. In Texas, computer even repair shops must now have a PI License and a hapless consumer in that state that takes his computer to an unlicensed repair shop can be fined as well.

Texas Requires PI License for Computer Repair

The purpose for licensing computer forensics professionals should be to protect the public interest by requiring that practitioners meet minimum requirement and have oversight by a governing body. That makes perfect sense.

But to say that Private Investigators can practice computer forensics with no specific skill in the area while preventing professionals in the field from practicing is, in my mind, a violation of the public trust and is little more than a ham-handed form of unfair trade practice.

What's next? Will auto mechanics have to have a PI license to work on cars?

Here is a link to a position paper I wrote on this subject. If you are in a state that is currently working on establishing laws for licensing, feel free to download and use whatever parts of it you want. I only ask that you leave my name as co-author since I wrote it.

Position Paper on PI Licensing of Computer Forensics Professionals

Good luck.

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