At its annual meeting in August, the American Bar Association spoke strongly to the states on the inadvisability of requiring those who perform computer forensics services to obtain a private investigator’s license. Here is the resolution itself:
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges State, local and territorial legislatures, State regulatory agencies, and other relevant government agencies or entities, to refrain from requiring private investigator licenses for persons engaged in:
• computer or digital forensic services or in the acquisition, review, or analysis of digital or computer-based information, whether for purposes of obtaining or furnishing information for evidentiary or other purposes, or for providing expert testimony before a court; or
• network or system vulnerability testing, including network scans and risk assessment and analysis of computers connected to a network.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports efforts to establish professional certification or competency requirements for such activities based upon the current state of technology and science.
Hat tip to Rob Lee from the SANS Institute for sending the resolution along. And to our mutual friend, Jody Westby, for tirelessly working to get this resolution written and passed. I am very proud that my own ABA Section, Law Practice Management, was a co-sponsor.
Keep an eye on proposed legislation in your state and make sure that legislators considering a PI licensing requirement are made aware of this resolution. Also, tell the EDD bloggers, so we can rally the troops.
A computer forensics certification, carefully crafted, would be a good thing for all of us. But let’s hope we can undo the damage already done in those states which have instituted the PI requirement. If you live in one of those states, consider contacting your legislators to see if they will agree to submit proposed legislation overturning those ill-advised laws.
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