I think I just lost my business

I live and work in Texas at my own small computer repair company

I just found out about a new law requiring computer repair business to hold a Private Investigation license >:(

Texas PC Repair Now Requires PI License - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

From its Texas Rangers to its enthusiastic take on the death penalty, the Lone Star State has long been known for its aggressive stance on law enforcement. Thanks to a strange new law, it’s a sting that may soon be felt by a number of the state’s computer-repair people.

A recently passed law requires that Texas computer-repair technicians have a private-investigator license, according to a story posted by a Dallas-Fort Worth CW affiliate.

In order to obtain said license, technicians must receive a criminal justice degree or participate in a three-year apprenticeship. Those shops that refuse to participate will be forced to shut down. Violators of the new law can be hit with a $4,000 dollar fine and up to a year in jail, penalties that apply to customers who seek out their services.

Some of the area’s larger companies already employee technicians with PI licenses, a fact which generally doesn’t apply to small computer repair shops.

I’m waiting to hear from my rattlesnake I mean my lawyer.
This will put thousands out of work.

Time to move to some saner place, perhaps?

I don’t think you should be worried too much about it. Read the comments by readers on that article.

I always found US to be a “very funny” place when it comes to laws and law enforcements. Somehow, everybody is scared :wink: And… lawyers make a lot money.

Well you could look at it as an opportunity.
Go get that degree/apprenticeship. Then if you decide not
to repair PC’s any longer you can open your own PI biz.
If enough people bail on the pc repair industry, but you are
still certified your market just got a lot larger.

Ironically, what will probably happen is people will
get all paranoid, particularly those near the borders of
other states and drive their PC’s out of state for repair.

Then there will have to be a law against transporting your
machine across borders. Kinda nuts actually, but hey there are
a lot of nutter laws out there.

Not only I can get fined or jail time my customers as well.

I live 60 miles from Amarillo Texas out in the sticks. this quote from below relates to me.

The law will impact Texas’s rural citizens hardest of all. Independent computer repair shops are everywhere, but they are unlicensed. Computer forensics companies (which employ licensed investigators) are concentrated in big cities like Dallas and Houston, where such companies specialize in providing litigation support to large law firms. If small computer repair companies are prevented from performing traditional computer repairs, rural residents may have to ship their computers hundreds of miles for basic repairs at expensive computer forensics companies.

More reading.

Rife v. Texas Private Security Board | Institute for Justice: Litigating for Liberty

Institute For Justice - A Libertarian Public Interest, Non-Profit Law Firm That’s In Court On Behalf Of Individual Rights–mainly Economic Liberty, Private Property Rights, School Choice and First Amendment. Pursuing litigation on behalf of Individua

Look at it as an opportunity! If you DO get yourself certified then as all of those thousands of people are going out of work YOU will be the only game in town.

Then, if the law only requires ONE person in the shop to be certified, you can hire them back under YOU and they do the grunt work while you reap your investment in your certification!

> ‘Texas PC Repair Now Requires PI License - News and Analysis by PC
> Magazine’ (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2324220,00.asp)

well, i read the article in PCMag, and i read the Texas Law
the article says it is based on…

now, you liar (aka, lawyer) may be able to see how that law applies to
a computer repair technician (or owner/operator of a business concern
in that field)…but i can’t see it in that law…the only thing
that even gets close is that section:

Sec. 1702.104. INVESTIGATIONS COMPANY. (a) A person acts
as an investigations company for the purposes of this chapter if the
(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.
-------END QUOTE------------

so, if a person brings you a computer and says: I want you to analyze
the hard drive in this private, not-available-to-the-public computer
and furnish me with the information—well, to THAT person you would
have to say, “I can’t, it is against the law.”

BUT, if someone asked you to remove all M$ software from a hard drive,
install more RAM and then install openSUSE, you can say “Ok”

at least that is how i read the law…

ymmv…i invite all to find the section of the law that the PC rag
based their sensational story on…

caveat: i am not a Texas Attorney, nor do i play one on TV. so,
competent legal advice IS in order…


> I live 60 miles from Amarillo Texas out in the sticks. this quote from
> below relates to me.

Yep I understand your predicament. Still, they will have to give you time
to get licensed. Presumably there aren’t a great deal of PI computer
repair folks at present. The whole concept boggles the mind as to how they
think this is going to work. I think there was a time when photograph
developers were supposed to report questionable film, but as far as I know
there was never a requirement to be a licensed PI. IMHO, they should make it
the same. Turn the machine over the police…the problem is the police
probably don’t want/need any additional case load so in effect what they are
doing is increasing the amount of computer forensics specialists. It seems
like a good opportunity for you particularly if you can get some sort of
school subsidy to attend classes. You’ll gain a career in computer
forensics. Go for it. The field can only get bigger.