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Can computer techs legally peruse files?

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Ian MacCosley View Drop Down
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    Posted: Dec/14/2007 at 11:31am
What: Pennsylvania man accused of possessing illegal images objects to computer technician perusing his video files and then alerting police.

When: Superior Court of Pennsylvania rules on December 5.

Outcome: Evidence of illegal images allegedly discovered by technician can be used in court.

Source: cNet Police Blotter
 
I think if you are dumb enough to allow illegal content on your computer, then the darwinian effect should prevail.
 
Lock up all the stupid criminals.


Edited by Ian MacCosley - Dec/14/2007 at 11:33am
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arwendt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/17/2007 at 10:16am

No problem with that on my end.

But what if some one took a computer into the shop with a large collection of music on it?

For example what if the computer had 10,000 mp3's on it. Could a tech alert the authorities on the grounds that he sees reason to believe the music was obtained illegally?

What if the Tech noticed a folder containing what he knows to be a set of intermediate files for the ripping of a popular but copyrighted recent Hollywood DVD release?

Or what if he notices a few zipped programs in a Bit Torrent Download directory?

While I personally do not put these illegal activities on the level of what I imagine was a Child Pornography case mentioned above, I do think we need to take a long and hard look at who the “stupid criminals” really are and who will be in charge of policing their computers.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Frederick Douglass - More at my Words of Freedom website.
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Bill Rogers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Rogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/17/2007 at 10:22am
I guess it's all about degrees of evil.

Pedophile? Call the police.

Downloads mp3s? Unless you have some strong moral objection here, it's probably not the best idea to touch this issue if you want to stay in the PC tech business for long.
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arwendt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/17/2007 at 11:40am
Good point but then does the PC Repair Tech have a legal oblication ro report a violation that he might see? And could he be liable if he does not?
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Frederick Douglass - More at my Words of Freedom website.
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Rick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/21/2008 at 12:07pm
As a Data Recovery tech, part of my job is the perusing of client files to verify the integrity of the files. Believe me, I've seen it all. I have to agree that it is all about the degree of evil. Personally, I have decided not to acknowledge anything I see except child porn or terrorist activity. Fortunately, I have never come across either one yet. As far as my legal obligations and liability, that is to my clients confidentiality of their data.
Rick of Bytes Back Data Recovery Services inc.
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Bill Rogers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Rogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/21/2008 at 4:02pm
Originally posted by Rick Rick wrote:

As a Data Recovery tech, part of my job is the perusing of client files to verify the integrity of the files. Believe me, I've seen it all. I have to agree that it is all about the degree of evil. Personally, I have decided not to acknowledge anything I see except child porn or terrorist activity. Fortunately, I have never come across either one yet. As far as my legal obligations and liability, that is to my clients confidentiality of their data.


well said
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