Professional Organisations | InfoSec Perception

The High Tech Crime Investigation Association HTCIA is a respected organization to which I belonged until 2003, when I felt I had to resign according to the bylaws. The story – and a debate about HTCIA membership rules – comes out in a correspondence with Duncan Monkhouse, President of the HTCIA for 2011. Mr Monkhouse has very kindly agreed to publish our correspondence.

Mich Kabay to HTCIA:

Dear Colleagues,

I was an enthusiastic member of the HTCIA until I was hired by parents to investigate an accusation of unauthorized system access against their son at a private school. My investigation showed that the accusation was based on incorrect information and the case was dropped. I wrote about the situation as follows to a colleague in December 2003:

5) No member by virtue of their employment be in a position to represent or assist the defense in a criminal prosecution.

Belonging to an organization that prevents its members from “assisting the defense” is morally repugnant to me and should be a source of shame and embarrassment to the entire organization. It seems to me that the administration of justice in a society of laws depends absolutely on the impartial sharing of evidence and expertise with both prosecution and defense.

I urge the HTCIA membership to rethink their stand on this exclusionary rule.

In any case, I am certainly excluded from membership in the HTCIA, since my position as a professor and consultant makes me perfectly capable (and willing) to serve justice by aiding either the prosecution or the defense as required. This notice will serve as my resignation from the HTCIA effective immediately. I will be taking down the framed membership plaque from my wall with sincere regrets and will particularly miss the HTCIA list.

Recently I received an announcement about a student poster competition sponsored by the HTCIA and I went to your site to see if conditions have changed. They have, but not for the better.

I looked at the current description of the HTCIA:

Continue reading