Feeds

US laws restrict computer forensics to gumshoes

Jobs for the boys?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More US states are moving towards laws that limit computer forensics work to those with Private Investigator licences, or people contracted to work for licensed investigative agencies.

Pending legislation in South Carolina would limit the specialist work of capturing and making sense of evidence on computer discs and server logs to businesses whose main line of work is serving legal process or matrimonial investigations. The bill covers computers forensic evidence presented in court.

Computer evidence compiled by unlicensed practitioners would be excluded from admission in either civil or criminal cases under the regulation. Those caught practicing without a licence to collect evidence for court (though not on a private basis) could face criminal prosecution.

Enterprises or private individuals would still be free to hire anyone they choose for private investigations. Computer forensics is often used as an internal investigatory tool following computer intrusions, or in response to suspicion of staff misuse of internet resources.

Georgia, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington already have similar legislation, Baseline Magazine reports. The idea is that by restricting the preparation of computer forensics work for presentation in court promotes higher standards and keeps out the cowboys.

However, expecting computer forensics experts to have a PI licence makes about as much sense as requiring PIs to have computer science degrees. Most private investigators come from a police or forces background. The regulations smack of protectionism.

Commonly, specialist agencies handle IT-related work such as counter-surveillance and forensic examination. Data recovery firms and others with computer forensics expertise may be equally capable in preserving and processing computer evidence, but are locked out of the business in the US, unlike other countries such as the UK where such firms are typically swamped with work. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.