Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update on North Carolina Licensing for Digital Forensics

Here is a link to an article at North Carolina Business Litigation Report: North Carolina May Require Licensing For Computer Forensic Consultants, But Do We Need It?

I am absolutely for licensing Digital Forensics Examiners, separately from Private Investigators as I have stated on this blog a few times.

I am picking out some of the links from the article here so you can see what North Carolina is proposing, which I think is the correct model for handling this issue.

A draft of the proposed legislation.

The draft minutes from the June 9, 2008 meeting of the Computer Forensics Subcommittee of the Private Protective Services Board.

Excerpts from other committee meetings where this was discussed.

Many people have said that Digital Forensics should be coverd by Private Investigator Licenses. I disagree simply because of the fact that this is an entirely different field of expertise and it requires specific training and experience in a very narrow discipline, not covered in any way by Private Investigator training.

Others say that no licensing should be required, but that the court can make the decision of who is an expert. I think this is a shortsighted view. Once a matter gets to court, the damage has already been done by incompetent "experts."

Also, the vast majority of cases never make it to court. Who is going to decide if the expert was competent in those cases? Will anyone ever know?

While I realize that obtaining a license, even with the provision provided by the NC proposal does not guarantee competency, it at least establishes a floor for minimum training and experience before someone can engage the public as an expert in the field.

Whether or not you want to say the word "expert", the assumption is that someone who is offering services as a Digital or Computer Forensics Examiner, "expert" is implied, if not explicitly stated.

I say let's protect the public and get this right.

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