[unisog] Suspicious Files

John Ives jives at security.berkeley.edu
Tue Dec 9 02:49:31 GMT 2008


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I am not a lawyer, but I don't believe there would be a fourth amendment
issue because you are not a representative of law enforcement.  Note,
however, that this would change if you are asked to do something by a
member of law enforcement as you would then be working under the color
of law. As long as this was seen as part of your normal operations and
you were not targeting the individual then I can't imagine an issue.
Further, you could make a case that their right of privacy was
substantially reduced when they handed you the computer with the
knowledge that you were going to be working on it.

I would suggest calling up your campus council, but I don't expect this
to be a constitutional issue. Having said that, however, I have no idea
about the laws of Idaho.

Yours,

John

Bob Henry wrote:
> One of our Housing office computer techs sent me the following
> question and I'd like to know what members of this list think.  Has
> anyone bumped into this and what did you do?  I've forwarded the
> question to legal as well.
> 
> A student brought his computer to the Student Housing computer support
> people for repairs.  The computer wouldn't boot and the student told
> the Housing technicians they could format the drive if they needed to.
>  The technician managed to boot the computer from its existing
> configuration.  On the computer, the technician found many pictures of
> jet airplanes, interior and exterior pictures of Boise skyscrapers,
> pictures of the presidents planes, videos of planes crashing, pictures
> of airports, pictures of the walkways from the airport, a connection
> to American airlines flights.
> 
> What are our responsibilities for handling this information?  Can we
> present it to law enforcement or would we be violating the 4th
> amendment?
> 
> 

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