Readers might remember a previous post decrying both Michigan's requirement that computer forensics technologists have a private investigator's license and the requirement that a security certification be obtained in addition to a forensic certification. Since then, I've had the pleasure of speaking by phone with Adam Kelly, who had prompted the earlier post.
He was kind enough to send me some of the legal documentation from Michigan. What particularly interested me is the fact that the statute makes no reference to a security requirement. This seems to have been the brain child of the Department of Labor and Economic growth, which, in its infinite wisdom, promulated the requirement of a security certification. The statute references "computer forensics or other computer forensic industry certificated study." Doesn't seem to suggest a security certification, does it? One wonders why the Department decided to erect an additional barrier that folks must jump in order to practice their profession.
So what are they doing in Michigan? Many computer forensic technologists are simply operating in violation of the law - many people seem quite blissfully unaware of the law. Others are making sure that there is someone with a private investigator's license in a management or partner position - that person's license can effectively "cover" the people who work under the license holder.
My advice to Adam was to find a sponsor for a bill repealing this law (using the ABA stance in support), and to gather additional support from experts across the country who would be willing to testify in favor of the repeal. This is clearly a protectionist law (and not protecting the public, but rather those who have PI licenses). If there is a desire to protect the public, a true forensic certification should be required, not a PI license and not a security certification. As Adam said, the current law keeps lawyers and businesses in Michigan from selecting the expert of their choice, irrespective of location. So go ahead Adam, do your best Don Quixote imitation and head full tilt at that windmill with your sword fully extended. En garde!
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