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View Full Version : Have a balky PC in Texas? Hire a PI



Alan G. Archer
2008-Jun-30, 09:06 PM
This is truly material for the next episode of Sam & Max. I hope this nonsense (http://cw33.trb.com/news/kdaf-062608-computerspelpina,0,486476.story) will not spread to the United States.

There is more on this from the Institute for Justice (http://www.ij.org/first_amendment/tx_computer_repair/6_26_08pr.html).

korjik
2008-Jun-30, 09:18 PM
I seriously doubt that law will survive challenge. Our judges arent crazy yet, so they will prolly do the right thing, and if they dont, they get replaced next election.

mike alexander
2008-Jun-30, 09:23 PM
Let's back up a minute. What is the stated reason for this law in the first place? It sounds like a favor to a lobbyist, but being Texas, it could be just about anything.

sarongsong
2008-Jun-30, 09:34 PM
"...and now for the rest of the story..."
May 20, 2008
...Private Investigators, who long to return to the good old days...find that as more and more people move their “dirt” online, their breed of investigation is dying out.
In an attempt to regulate this obsolescence, the Texas Private Security Bureau, lobbied heavily by Private Investigator interests, has passed into law an update to the Private Security Act (HB 2833) which brings computer investigations under the umbrella of investigations that would require a private investigator license...
Citronix (http://www.citronix.net/blog/texas-pis-try-to-legislate-themselves-out-of-obsolescence-pc-techs-under-fire/)

mike alexander
2008-Jun-30, 09:43 PM
The Private Eyes of Texas are upon youuuuuu....

Kaptain K
2008-Jun-30, 09:51 PM
I hope this nonsense will not spread to the United States.

News flash!
Texas is part of the United States!

mike alexander
2008-Jun-30, 09:55 PM
But is the Ledge?

sarongsong
2008-Jun-30, 09:56 PM
The Private Eyes of Texas are upon youuuuuu....:clap:

giddyup:
"It might not be the easy way, but it's the cowboy way!"

Jim
2008-Jun-30, 10:25 PM
Here's the text of the bill:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/pdf/HB02833F.pdf

It does not mention computer repair technicians needing licenses.

This is a strange story on several counts.

Texas laws go into effect 90 days after the Lege adjourns; the Lege meets for 120 days every odd-numbered year. HB 2833 went into effect on Sep 1, 2007. No board or commission can alter a law on its own. So this is not a "new law."

The only mention of computers is Section 4 paragraph (b), which does not seem to apply to computer technicians, but to investigators reviewing computer databases.

It seems to me that someone is blowing smoke. Or smoking blow.

geonuc
2008-Jul-01, 12:54 AM
News flash!
Texas is part of the United States!
What about all those "US Out of Texas" bumper stickers? ;)

tdvance
2008-Jul-01, 01:00 AM
My first thought on reading the story was, "yeah, and that reporter is buying a bridge tomorrow." It's actually disheartening how quickly one will believe a story about an obviously stupid law getting passed if it is in one of several frequently-stereotyped states, when a more reasonable response to seeing the story would be, could the journalist be wrong (yet again)?

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-01, 01:38 AM
What about all those "US Out of Texas" bumper stickers? ;)

I didn't say we liked it! Besides, if we had our druthers, We'd prefer "Texas out of the US"! You know "Secede Now"!

Alan G. Archer
2008-Jul-01, 12:10 PM
It seems to me that someone is blowing smoke. Or smoking blow.

Very likely blowing.

The Private Investigator News and Information (http://www.asginvestigations.com/pi-stories/?p=201) blog last January brought up the issue of computer repair and support companies doing computer forensics work. A related article (http://www.asginvestigations.com/pi-stories/?p=202), by John Leyden, notes that more US states are moving to restrict computer forensics work to licensed investigators.

If computer repair shops avoid such unlicensed work, they probably will have nothing to worry about.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Jul-01, 04:29 PM
So this is a matter of a law that requires a PI license in order to do forensics work on a PC, something which was previously done by regular repair shops, a law which makes quite a lot of sense since a standard repair shop is unlikely to know how to record their findings so they would be useful as evidence and it's reported as if all repairs should require a PI license?

Why am I not surprised by the stupidity of the common or garden variety journalist (capulalo capulalo).

tdvance
2008-Jul-01, 05:41 PM
I didn't say we liked it! Besides, if we had our druthers, We'd prefer "Texas out of the US"! You know "Secede Now"!

You could always live in the state where I grew up, West Virginia, the only state that had successfully seceded in the 1800s. Well, from Virginia anyway.

mike alexander
2008-Jul-01, 06:08 PM
And I guess WVa liked the 1800's so well it just stayed there?

tdvance
2008-Jul-02, 06:53 PM
Many towns are well in the 21st century light-pollution-wise. The darkest skies I've ever observed from are still my parent's back yard 3 miles north of Moorefield, WV, but still Scorpius is mostly washed out at culmination because of Moorefield, and that annoying billboard that went up a year ago and shines right into the field I observe from--I was putting a pine tree between it and myself till my uncle decided he didn't want the pine trees anymore and removed them.

So, I'll break my personal dark sky record (weather permitting) the end of this month camped out on Spruce Knob, the highest point in WV and one of, if not the, darkest place in the US east of the Mississippi, at the Almost Heaven Star Party.

mugaliens
2008-Jul-02, 09:08 PM
This is ridiculous: "Consumers who knowingly take computers to an unlicensed company for repair can face the same penalties."

So a consumer cannot simply sign a special power of attorney allowing the computer repair person the right to inspect the owner's system and all the contents therein...

That's a FEDERAL law. Good luck, Texas, in your attempts to strip your citizens of the right to assign power of attorney to others.

Makes me wonder what's next? Declare everyone taking their computers to the shop legally insane so as to render their special powers of attorney null and void?

Loophole (more like a sink hole, it's so big): SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

No state, including Texas, has the right to take that away from you.

Chuck
2008-Jul-02, 11:24 PM
Or, the customer can sell the computer to the repairman for the duration of the repairs and then buy it back. Then the technician would be working on his or her own property.

mike alexander
2008-Jul-03, 02:32 AM
Taking one step back from the rude mechanics of the thing, the mind-set creating this in the first place seems to say a bit about how far down the paranoid path we've strolled.

As a mental exercise, how long before you are not allowed to erase anything on your computer since it could potentially be used for... something, I dunno.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-03, 03:09 AM
Or, the customer can sell the computer to the repairman for the duration of the repairs and then buy it back. Then the technician would be working on his or her own property.

And set himself up to be fined twice as both the owner and the repairman!

Chuck
2008-Jul-03, 03:13 AM
And set himself up to be fined twice as both the owner and the repairman!
I don't think you need an investigator's license to repair your own computer.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-03, 04:00 AM
The law does not make that distinction!

Chuck
2008-Jul-03, 04:04 AM
You would not be investigating anyone by looking at your own data. The law would not apply at all.

mike alexander
2008-Jul-03, 04:21 AM
Sometimes the law is a horse's patootie.

Hey, fellahs, listen to yourselves! Instead of looking at the law and saying, "Wow! I can grow mushrooms in this!" you're playing Talmudic games around it. So:

what is the purpose of this law, and is it so constructed to accomplish it without doing other harm?

tdvance
2008-Jul-03, 05:29 PM
At work, our news summary included this one--it appears the changes to the law mean companies need a license to do any kind of forensic work on computers, but the definition of forensic work is essentially anything involving searching the data on the computer for information (e.g. you take the computer to a repair shop to determine who your kids are talking to on MySpace). The repair shops are worried that the law could catch them for not having a sufficiently-narrow definition of "forensic".

Perhaps a phrase such as "(not allowed to do whatever) without the owner's permission" would fix the concerns (though might involve the owner signing more papers before anything is done).