Re: GPS & Cell phone records
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Eric Manley <emanley2005@...>
>focus is computer forensics. I do a good amount of work for private
> I am somewhat new to the world of private investigators, my main
investigators to recover deleted emails, capture some types of
instant messaging, etc. One of the things most clients like to
recover are passwords. Usually for screen names, user names, etc.
to prove how a suspect came into contact with a new lover, or how
they communicate. Since both the client and the suspect are joint
owners of the machine, it has not been a problem. If the the client
that spured this debate, is also on the account, and just does not
want to raise suspicion, he just does'nt want to put his spouse on
alert, how can there be a problem. If he knew the password already,
he would not even need a PI to do this type of assignment. I have
the skills to do the computer work, now I just need to learn what
the experienced investigators in this group could need. Any
feedback would be appreciated.
I think I understand what you are asking....
Let me take a stab here, and then give you a scenario or two
that you may want to consider..
Are you asking if it is okay to give out passwords to certain
email, instant messenger, and/or on-line service type accounts to
clients that may hire you to recover these passwords from a hard
drive that was in the "family computer" that was jointly owned by
the husband and wife before there was any separation or divorce
actions? For example, a computer that was left in the home after the
wife asked the husband to move out, or the husband left on his own?
If that is what you are asking, then let me give you a scenario
to consider.. Understand that I am not passing judgment here, nor am
I condemning the practice of giving out passwords to clients that
you have gathered from a forensic analysis of a hard drive.
Let's say that you do give out the password to an email account
that you have obtained by conducting a forensic analysis of a hard
drive to the wife of a man that is separating or divorcing.. I'd say
that this in itself is not illegal, and one could even argue that
the client has paid for these passwords and you have an obligation
to give the client what the client has paid for.. However... What
happens AFTER you have given the passwords out should concern you.
If the husband has left the home, and is living in a separate
residence, and has set up this email account solely for himself when
he first set up the account, and has not given any type of
permission to his wife or ex-wife (depending on how long after he
left, and how fast they divorce took or is taking), and the wife
uses this password to gain access to his account and download his
email or even read his email, then she has committed a crime (of
course whether or not anyone in any local, state, or federal law
enforcement agency is willing to investigate and prosecute is
another story). Your concern should be whether or not some attorney
working for the husband feels like he can demonstrate that you are
culpable enough to sue in civil court, for giving the wife the
password or passwords to begin with.
Understand that even though you probably would not be
criminally culpable, you still may be civilly culpable. Of course to
some people being sued is not a big deal, and to others it is a
colossal pain in the keister.
If it is a jointly held account, then all of this is for
naught, and you have no worries. Both people have an absolute right
to access their own account.
What may be prudent and protective to you, is to have an
attorney draw up some type of agreement concerning sensitive
information that you find on the hard drive, that basically states
what constitutes illegal use of this information, and makes the
client agree not to use this information in this way, and holds you
harmless if in fact the client does use the information in an
illegal manner, and also informs the client that if he or she does
do something illegal with this information, you are obligated to
fully cooperate with the authorities in any investigation that may
be bought about by the illegal usage of this information. At least
if you did this, you could demonstrate that you advised the client
against doing anything illegal with this information, and advised
the client of what is in fact illegal usage, and warned the client
in advance that illegal usage of the information that you provided
would obligate you to assist in investigation and prosecution of
such actions. An attorney could better advise you on what to have
Personally, I don't give this information out to any client
other than an attorney.
Risk Management Research & Investments, Inc.
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607 N. Providence, Columbia, MO. 65203
Phone: (888) 571-0958
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