A recent discussion, with my neighbour, about the arrest of a law enforcement office in Ontario, for child pornography, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/opp-sergeant-child-porn-charges-1.3424164, led me to post this.
How liable are we, as technicians, for not reporting illegal files or activity that they find on clients computers?
I know that in Canada, all provinces have required reporting for child porn, and that there are at least 12 US States that mandate it, as well. Failure to comply can leave a shop or technician subject to fines and or jail time. And I agree with them.
But what about other stuff? Such as threatening emails, (we have cyber bullying laws in Canada, as well,) evidence of drug trafficking or use, or other illegal activity?
What about bit torrents, downloaded videos, music, and software? Can Microsoft come after me, as a technician, for failing to report a pirated copy of Windows? Where do we draw the line?
Moreover, what are we doing, snooping through our clients personal files, when we are just asked to "fix a boot problem?" The has to be some expectation of privacy, when you are entrusted with personal or private information stored on a clients computer.
Even worse, if the client is found "Not Guilty" in court, are we then open to civil suit for our actions?