Is this legal? Spying on cheaters.. You opinion welcome.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Is this legal? Spying on cheaters.. You opinion welcome.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Talking Is this legal? Spying on cheaters.. You opinion welcome.

    So I like to brainstorm ideas for businesses when I am bored. An idea I had come up with was a business that people could call when they think there kids are doing something bad on the computer, thier spouses are cheating on them(utilizing the computer/Internet), and so on. So with that you go out to thier house, while the suspected person is not around, you consult with the caller, then install some monitoring software on thier PC, configure the antivirus software to ignore its presence. Setup a site for them to monitor the results from and voila... Tell the person they can do whatever they want with the information. So the monitoring software would report keystrokes, web sites visited, passwords, Instant Messaging and chat logs, etc..

    I know people could do this themselves but most are not technically savvy enough and would probably get caught by the person being monitored.

    To add another layer to this the business could also have a service where they place a magnetic gps tracking unit under the targets car, providing up to the minute details of where the target is to the customer. These devices are very cheap now a days.

    Really though whats legal here and what isnt? Lets assume for the computer monitoring that the customer has signed an agreement stating the computer is owned by them. Please give me your thoughts...

  2. #2
    THE Bastard Sys***** dinowuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Third planet from the Sun
    Posts
    1,247
    In the U.S. It is a federal and state offense to install monitoring software on a PC of which you do not own.

    And even if it wasn't you open yourself up to civil liabilities.

    Of course it is also illegal to tap a phone without a warrent. Or it used to be...
    09:F9:11:02:9D:74:E3:5B8:41:56:C5:63:56:88:C0

  3. #3
    BS, EnCE, ACE, Cellebrite 11001001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Just West of Beantown, though nobody from Beantown actually calls it "Beantown."
    Posts
    1,228
    Quote Originally Posted by kylesup View Post
    they think there kids are doing something bad on the computer, thier spouses are cheating on them(utilizing the computer/Internet), and so on.
    ...
    Lets assume for the computer monitoring that the customer has signed an agreement stating the computer is owned by them.
    As far as the kids are concerned, no issues. You have little to no rights to privacy until you turn 18(17), especially if you live at home with mom and dad, and use the family computer that they paid for.

    Spouses.... that becomes a gray area. Sure, one could argue that guy bought the computer, and therefore he's entitled to place on it whatever software he sees fit, but girl can also argue reasonable expectation of privacy. Do they have separate user accounts on the machine in question? beyond that separate emails, password protected user files?

    Keystroke loggers are legally weird, in that they don't actually intercept wire communications as outlined in various wiretap statutes. Packet sniffing on an unsecured network fits more into this category.

    Anywho... what you're describing is the work of a private investigator. They dance the fine line of legal/illegal and their paycheck is based on what their client feels is NOT a violation of those rights. Before doing anything like this, get a PI license from your state police, and get a lawyer on retainer.
    That's Officer 11001001 to you...
    Now you see me | Now you don't
    "Relax, Bender; It was just a dream. There's no such thing as two." ~ Fry
    sometimes my computer goes down on me

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by 11001001 View Post

    Anywho... what you're describing is the work of a private investigator. They dance the fine line of legal/illegal and their paycheck is based on what their client feels is NOT a violation of those rights. Before doing anything like this, get a PI license from your state police, and get a lawyer on retainer.
    Yeah good advice here I was actually thinking about this.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    605
    Sure, one could argue that guy bought the computer, and therefore he's entitled to place on it whatever software he sees fit, but girl can also argue reasonable expectation of privacy.
    Usually people in situations like that are grubby drunks and drug addicts. Everything is mutual, esspecially domestic violence. In the real world things aren't like detective comic books or crime noir novels where some trench coated P.I. helps out some pretty damsel.

    More than likely, none of these people have a single respectable attribute to themselves.

  6. #6
    BS, EnCE, ACE, Cellebrite 11001001's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Just West of Beantown, though nobody from Beantown actually calls it "Beantown."
    Posts
    1,228
    Quote Originally Posted by The-Spec View Post
    Usually people in situations like that are grubby drunks and drug addicts. Everything is mutual...
    I think that's the first time I've actually agreed with you about anything.
    That's Officer 11001001 to you...
    Now you see me | Now you don't
    "Relax, Bender; It was just a dream. There's no such thing as two." ~ Fry
    sometimes my computer goes down on me

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,191
    I think that Binary Bobby makes a good point. I believe in some places to do such a thing without a PI licence would be a criminal offence in its own right given that you are offering a commercial service.

    As well as an attorney I would also recommend that you look at professional liability insurance.

    I know people could do this themselves but most are not technically savvy enough and would probably get caught by the person being monitored.
    Tell the person they can do whatever they want with the information. So the monitoring software would report keystrokes, web sites visited, passwords, Instant Messaging and chat logs, etc..
    A bit of a contradiction there I would have thought? If they can't set it up, I doubt if they would understand the results?

    My usual advice in marital cases is seek guidance counseling or get a divorce lawyer.

    EDIT:

    Another think to bear in mind is that people who indulge in that sort of activity are obviously devious. So:

    1. How do you know that it is their computer?
    2. How do you know that it is their children rather than their spouse they want to monitor?

    You could very easily get yourself caught in a nasty legal crossfire.
    Last edited by nihil; April 21st, 2009 at 11:21 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    534
    As far as a gps device in the car goes, that too is a breach of privacy. You might argue that the car is mine and you paid for it so you have the right to know where its going but then you are also finding out where the person is going who is driving it.

    Some of the small private firms use to do it for their employees who use company vehicle and are out in the field but i have heard that, that too is illegal and they can get sued.
    A laptop, internet connection and beer.

  9. #9
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Shawnee country
    Posts
    1,242
    Had one client last year who had a company phone that was hacked. Some kind of GPS tracking app was in it. I kept telling him to dump the phone. He started the business and was going thru a divorce. He had a new GF and his ol' lady kept showing up at the hotel. What a morass. Glad I didn't do more than I did with this one. I loathe subpoenas.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,191
    As far as a gps device in the car goes, that too is a breach of privacy.
    No it isn't.....................it is a reasonable precaution to protect corporate or business assets in the case of theft. In fact, failure to take such precautions might even be construed as lack of due diligence.......................the real problem (which I guess you are really talking about?) is when management abuse the product to spy on employees. That is obviously a whole different ball game

    so you have the right to know where its going but then you are also finding out where the person is going who is driving it.
    In theory that is true, but there is still the same issue as with computers.............you may know the IP address, but that doesn't tell you who was actually using it?.................over here it is not uncommon for spouses and family members over 25 to be allowed to use the automobile provided that you take out the extra insurance.

    Some of the small private firms use to do it for their employees who use company vehicle and are out in the field but i have heard that, that too is illegal and they can get sued.
    Hmmm................I have designed and implemented such systems...........and was very much appreciated by the field engineers for it...........hey isn't it just great driving 30 miles through heavy traffic to do a job and see a colleague driving the same distance in the opposite direction.............and you both know you will have to make the return journey? A bit of flexibility in scheduling can help a lot to make guys' life easier.

    To be brutally frank with you.............when we are down the pub we do not give a rodent's rectum where you are, and what you are doing.

    That is another point where I think that your privacy is at least slightly better protected that you think. If I were doing an NCIS job on you, I would only see where you parked..................not where you went and what you did ......I would have to send a babe with twin "personalities" to check that bit out?

    We have a somewhat different attitude over here, which I partly put down to the different laws that our IRS Departments are working under. Here you get the car added as part of your compensation (?) ........we call it salary...... if you cannot prove a certain amount of dedicated business mileage a year.

    A more common option over here is the "car allowance" where you are paid a cash amount and provide your own vehicle. You then get paid a mileage allowance for corporate travel. It works out a lot better for most people and YOU own the GPS

    Interesting contribution........thanks.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

Similar Threads

  1. Legal Discussions
    By 11001001 in forum Site Feedback/Questions/Suggestions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 18th, 2005, 02:53 PM
  2. Web Site Legal Issues
    By Soda_Popinsky in forum Web Development
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 13th, 2003, 03:39 AM
  3. Spying on your spouse
    By Tedob1 in forum Cosmos
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: February 2nd, 2003, 03:10 AM
  4. Why Drugs Should Be Legal!
    By BERBURT in forum Cosmos
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: March 4th, 2002, 05:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 Security News

     Patches

       Security Trends

         How-To

           Buying Guides