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Re: GPS & Cell phone records

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  • Ricky Gurley
    ... focus is computer forensics. I do a good amount of work for private investigators to recover deleted emails, capture some types of instant messaging, etc.
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 26, 2006
      --- In infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com, Eric Manley <emanley2005@...>
      > I am somewhat new to the world of private investigators, my main
      focus is computer forensics. I do a good amount of work for private
      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
      drawn up.

      Personally, I don't give this information out to any client
      other than an attorney.


      Risk Management Research & Investments, Inc.
      “Columbia's Premiere Private Investigation Agency”
      607 N. Providence, Columbia, MO. 65203
      Phone: (888) 571-0958
      Fax: (877) 795-9800
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