About a week ago I was reading the NY Times and came across a story regarding an IT department support person who was repairing the president of the company’s computer and thought he had discovered child porn.
The tech was wondering if he should risk his job and turn in the head of the company to police.
This incident brings up a good point. When you have your computer repaired is it the technicians place to determine if anything, be it porn, accounting documents, company secrets, etc., on the computer is incriminating and should that tech call in the authorities?
Generally speaking as a tech myself, if there is no life or death issues, than it is none of my business.
In 23 years of servicing and repairing computers I have seen all kinds of interesting things pass before my eyes. With the development of the Internet it has become even more interesting. None of it can be categorized as life or death information, thank God.
In todays society we have to be careful of what we see and who we tell. The mighty arm of a lawyer may well come down on you. And, with all of the stuff that could, I repeat, COULD be misconstrued as against the law, what happens if it isn’t? What if you were wrong?
How does that impact the accused or even you?
I don’t want to be a professional witness for the rest of my life turning in people who have some porn on their machines that COULD be child porn. Or, maybe it ISN’T child porn. I don’t want to warm the bench of some court room guessing if the document I recovered from a dead hard disk might be the recipe to Coke a Cola. I don’t get paid to be a snitch. I get paid to repair computers.
Unless there is a clear indication that there is a threat to life and limb, or it is very clear that there is some sort of incriminating information that could be a danger to other people, I do the job I was hired for. Repair the computer and that’s it.
No matter my moral or ethical beliefs, it is none of my business. Period.