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Comment Re:I have cases like this a lot (Score 1) 765

While I'm not an attorney that would be the best person to ask this question of, we do have a lot of cases that have both criminal and civil implications...

I would say that the Salvation Army store would probably not be liable as they are not under obligation to protect a previous owner. In my opinion it would be like trying to sue a car dealership for failing to remove a social security card of the previous owner from the glove box. The original owner failed to protect himself and then likely lost any claim to action against anyone else.

Unless of course the store stated that they would "prepare" the systems to be ready for new owners by wiping them clean.

Even though they might not be liable, it's still sad that the manager wouldn't allow a few extra minutes to try to get rid of the personal info. Most people are ignorant of exactly how much they are giving away when they dispose of an old system.

Comment Re:I have cases like this a lot (Score 2, Interesting) 765

Well it depends on the agency. For most agencies in my area, you start off as a patrol officer and work your way up. A degree in an IT field or similar will help you stand out, although not always required. Then get ready for LOTS of schools to learn the methodology to not only get the information you're looking for, but to then prepare it for court.

I know that some agencies in other areas hire non-sworn personnel for computer forensics experts (typically larger departments). Also, the FBI has civilian (non-agent) examiners that have security clearances. They require a degree and likely some previous experience.

Comment Re:I have cases like this a lot (Score 2, Informative) 765

You don't need jurisdiction to investigate it. You send out the subpoena, the ISP responds, and you then contact the local police there to investigate further. Most states also allow prosecution of Internet crimes in either the place of the victim OR suspect. Not to mention, the original theft occurred where the victim is at...

Comment I have cases like this a lot (Score 5, Informative) 765

I'm a cybercrimes detective and computer forensics examiner in a Sheriff's Department and do this all the time. It simply requires a subpoena to the ISP that the IP address returns to. If the campus police and city police won't do it, try your county or state police agencies (both which also have jurisdiction). In my state, all police officers have power anywhere in the state and I could "technically" investigate and/or charge anyone with a crime anywhere in the state. We just don't typically do this because it's stepping on each other's toes. As a county officer though, I frequently investigate crimes involving cases inside city or town limits if that agency doesn't have the capability. If the IP address ends up being from another state, we just contact the local police there to ask for their assistance.

Keep asking and ask to talk to a supervisor if they are not helping as much as you would like. While there is no obligation from a police agency to necessarily do everything they can on a property crime, most department heads will do what they can to keep the public happy.

Like others have said though, you may simply get a return to a campus, business, or open wireless network.
Good luck.

Submission + - UVB-76 goes offline. (abovetopsecret.com)

leathered writes: Tinfoil hatters around the world are abuzz that UVB-76, the Russian shortwave radio station that has been broadcasting its monotonous tone almost uninterrupted since 1982, has suddenly gone offline. Of course no one knows what the significance of this is, but best brush up on your drills just in case.

Submission + - Court rules again against vaccine-autism claims

barnyjr writes: According to a story from Reuters:
Vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal cannot cause autism on their own, a special U.S. court ruled on Friday, dealing one more blow to parents seeking to blame vaccines for their children's illness.

The special U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled that vaccines could not have caused the autism of an Oregon boy, William Mead, ending his family's quest for reimbursement.

Comment Re:And nothing of value was lost (Score 1) 154

And what is your basis for the statement that "prosecutors as a whole like to ignore" the 4th Amendment? I have worked with prosecutors on a daily basis for the last 11 years and have never ONCE seen them violate the 4th Amendment or encourage it to be done. I *have* seen it happen on the street, however. Either way, that has nothing to do with this. This is talking about a device that is used to gather incriminating information on a Windows-based computer. If that information is obtained in violation of the 4th Amendment, it's going to be thrown out in court regardless of the method used to obtain it.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised about what people claim that they know when they have no first-hand knowledge of how things really work. Instead they rely on vague generalities that "this stuff happens all the time" without being able to point to a specific example.

Comment And nothing of value was lost (Score 1) 154


Those of us in the computer forensics business don't use COFEE for real cases anyway. It's barely useful as a quick analysis tool for something you don't need to worry about presenting in court (thus completely nullifying the term forensics when talking about it).

Not surprised at all the typical slashdot anti-law enforcement rhetoric in here... especially all of the "innocent people will be saved!" statements. But I *am* a bit surprised that some of the commenters have said what they have. Do this many people really not want truly guilty people caught and prosecuted?


Submission + - New HIV Strain Discovered in Woman From Cameroon 1

barnyjr writes: From the story: A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS was discovered in a woman from the African nation of Cameroon. It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine. ...The most likely explanation for the new find is gorilla-to-human transmission, Plantier's team said.

Submission + - WoW gamer earns Federal Investigation achievement.

barnyjr writes: A teenager could face federal charges after investigators say he made online threats to kill Americans on a plane from Indianapolis to Chicago. According to investigators, a monitor of the online interactive game World of Warcraft saw the alleged threats in an on-line chat and called Johnson County authorities. She told investigators the chatter didn't seem like a game. Full Story

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