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I have read up a little more on this and it looks as if the writing of this law is highly ambiguous/vague. It reminds me of the Texas law on ...
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  1. #11
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I have read up a little more on this and it looks as if the writing of this law is highly ambiguous/vague. It reminds me of the Texas law on seizure of money on the highways if they think you are carrying to much. If a sheriff or highway patrolman pulls you over and you are carrying excess amounts of cash. They can confiscate such cash and spend it in any way they see fit. Like trips to Hawaii and writing their subordinates checks. Texas isn't the only state that does this though, And the law is written about as vague as this one on repairing computers. It doesn't affect me that much because I repair bikes. Not computers.

    I do however do favors for neighbors. Being neighborly so to speak. I also try to help fellow Linux users throughout the net by mailing cds when they have difficulty downloading certain isos. This is just disheartening in my view.
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  2. #12
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe View Post
    Well, I for one intend to continue helping my fellow man regardless of whether it's considered illegal. The fixes I do rarely involve anything I might be called to court over, and all my transactions involve cash or food; both things the government (state or otherwise) cannot track.
    I like your take on this techieMoe. Isn't it sad when the government forces hard working and productive citizens (who already pay so much in taxes) into making such choices?
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  3. #13
    Linux Engineer Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    I'm going to try and keep my comments free of any political overtones as well but it seems to me that the Institute of Justice article that rokytnji linked to is very slanted. If you read the law, you can see that the legislation is targeted at those who would be hired by someone to investigate a crime, not those that are hired to remove a virus or reformat a hard drive. The pertinent section, as far as I can tell, is this one:
    Sec. 1702.104. INVESTIGATIONS COMPANY.
    (a) A person acts as an investigations company for the purposes of this chapter if the person:
    (1) engages in the business of obtaining or furnishing, or accepts employment to obtain or furnish, information related to:
    (A) crime or wrongs done or threatened against a state or the United States;
    (B) the identity, habits, business, occupation, knowledge, efficiency, loyalty, movement, location, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of a person;
    (C) the location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property; or
    (D) the cause or responsibility for a fire, libel, loss, accident, damage, or injury to a person or to property;
    (2) engages in the business of securing, or accepts employment to secure, evidence for use before a court, board, officer, or investigating committee;
    (3) engages in the business of securing, or accepts employment to secure, the electronic tracking of the location of an individual or motor vehicle other than for criminal justice purposes by or on behalf of a governmental entity; or
    (4) engages in the business of protecting, or accepts employment to protect, an individual from bodily harm through the use of a personal protection officer.
    (b) For purposes of Subsection (a)(1), obtaining or furnishing information includes information obtained or furnished through the review and analysis of, and the investigation into the content of, computer-based data not available to the public.
    The only possibly contentious part of that section is (a)(1)(B) but since a computer repairman is not hired to obtain that specific information (the personal information of the computer's owner), he/she would be immune.

    So, I think the law is intended to address private computer security firms who are hired (by a police department or other investigative body) to retrieve evidence from a criminal's machine to be used against them. These security firms would be the ones who would have to hold the PI license(s), not your local repairman.

  4. #14
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    I think we can agree that the law was probably not intended to put all computer repair companies out of business, but the section about computer-related data is so vague that it could be interpreted as such. Long story short, this doesn't affect me, per se, but it certainly needs clarification. There's a few folks out there fighting it.

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  5. #15
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    Vagueness in law appears everywhere. Sometimes I think they are deliberately written that way so that they can be applied to a wider area later without having to write another law.
    Another problem is ancient laws that no longer apply to current lifestyles that were never repealed. I should probably post a few of those to the jokes thread.
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  6. #16
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal343 View Post
    Vagueness in law appears everywhere. Sometimes I think they are deliberately written that way so that they can be applied to a wider area later without having to write another law.
    Another problem is ancient laws that no longer apply to current lifestyles that were never repealed. I should probably post a few of those to the jokes thread.
    That's another area where Texas excels, and not in a good way. We have more deadwood legislation in our state constitution than any of the surrounding states.
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  7. #17
    Linux Enthusiast cousinlucky's Avatar
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    I do not buy much over the Internet; but now I'm supposed to pay tax on my internet purchases. Sites like ebay have to collect the tax and send it to the State of New York. I would be willing to bet that at some point down the road the State of New York is going to require every ISP provider to install some kind of software program onto their equipment so that the State can collect its new " Internet Taxes "!!!
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