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FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide

Posted by Bill on October 29, 2009

FBI Seal Interesting article in NYT about release of the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, see NYT Article, See the Guide, or the DIOG, here  DIOG Part 1-4, DIOG Part 5-9, DIOG Part 10-11.11.9, DIOG Part 11.12-17, Appendices

The FBI says:  The DIOG establishes the FBI’s internal rules and procedures to implement the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations (AGG-Dom).  The DIOG and the AGG-Dom were promulgated in late 2008 to ensure that the FBI is equipped with all lawful and appropriate tools so that it can transform itself into an intelligence-driven organization that assesses and investigates criminal and national security threats to our nation and its people. Both documents have been released to the public as part of an ongoing effort to assure the American people that FBI employees will carry out their mission according to an established set of rules and with full respect for the constitutional and statutory rights of the people.

 These rules, which will be audited and enforced through a rigorous compliance mechanism, are designed to ensure that FBI assessments and investigations are subject to responsible review and approval and do not target anyone or any group on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, or the exercise of any other right guaranteed by the Constitution.  

The DIOG is a living operational guide and its release to the public is intended to provide as much transparency as possible. It will be reviewed and changed periodically, as law and policy change and as circumstances dictate. Because it does govern FBI operations and investigations, not all of its contents can be released as they provide too much of a road map to those who pose a threat to the nation. The FBI will, from time to time, reassess whether additional information can safely be released.

All very interesting. Now you can investigate and get tips on investigations techniques.

Bill Lowrance, McLean, VA
www.lowrancelaw.com
www.informationinsightsinc.com

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Posted in FBI, FOIA, Investigations, law enforcement, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research, surveillance | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

New and Revised Competitive Intelligence Resources–2009

Posted by Bill on October 19, 2009

From Be Spacific, news about Sabrina I. Pacifici’s “Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated and Revised October 2009” research “master tool” to learn about companies, people and other things via free/lowcosts Internet sites. This is the “best of list” of the Internet. Great links, great research tools. See LLRX CIGuide 

Great investigative resource. Check it out.

Bill Lowrance

Lowrance Law LLC and Information Insights Inc

Posted in Investigations, Links, PI Chatter, private investigations, private investigator, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CIA World Fact Book 2010

Posted by Bill on October 14, 2009

The CIA published its new World Fact Book. Its available in paper or on Web.

See CIA World Fact Book

Bill Lowrance

Lowrance Law LLC

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New Competitivie Intelligence Search Tools

Posted by Bill on March 31, 2009

Excellent stuff:

Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Updated and Revised March 2009 — Click  LLRX

Sabrina I. Pacifici’s completely revised and updated pathfinder focuses on leveraging selected reliable, focused, free and low cost sites and sources to effectively profile and monitor companies, markets, countries, people, and issues. This guide is a “best of list” of web, database and email alert products, services and tools, as well as links to content specific sources produced by governments, academia, NGOs, the media and various publishers.

Bill Lowrance
McLean, VA
www.informationinsightsinc.com

www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Public Court Records–Free

Posted by Bill on February 13, 2009

The New York Times has interesting story today about PACER the government run federal courts database. See Pacer Here  NYT Story

PACER is the US government site for federal court records.  Pending case information is available along with old, closed case information.  You need an account with them so that you can search the database.  Also, you have to pay 8 cents per page for downloading.  Almost all federal courts are on the system, and you can search by name, case number and in all or individual courts.

According to the NYT story Public Resource is taking the case information from the PACER system and making the information publicly available without charge.  It is a good site to check out if you are doing public record research.

Bill Lowrance

Check out new law firm Lowrance Law LLC

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blog Roll and Links

Posted by Bill on December 23, 2008

computer-thumb.jpgWe have a lot of good links in the left column.  I added AltSearchEngines to the blog roll today.  Check out AltSearchEngine when you want to know the latest, newest, specialized and unique search engines out in the web.

Charles Knight, AltSearchEngine guy, says:  “Our goal for AltSearchEngines is to make it the definitive destination for everything related to alternative search engines – over 1,000 of them!Our motto: “The most wonderful search engines you’ve never seen.”

AltSearchEngines is edited by Charles Knight, a respected industry analyst and reformed SEO from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bill Lowrance

Posted in Investigations, Links, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Research, Virginia | Leave a Comment »

Looking For A Grave?

Posted by Bill on December 17, 2008

researchSometimes private investigators conduct in depth research looking for people, family members, friends or relatives.  I ran across this site Find A Grave that was cited at that great site AltSearch Engines.

According to Find A Grave it “is a resource for finding the final resting place of family, friends, and ‘famous’ individuals. With millions of names and photos, it is an invaluable tool for the genealogist and family history buff. Find A Grave memorials can contain rich content including photos, biographies and dates.”

Jim Tipton created the Find A Grave website in 1995 because he could not find an existing site that catered to his hobby of visiting the graves of famous people. He found that there are many thousands of folks around the world who share his interests. What began as an odd hobby became a livelihood and a passion. Read about the whole staff  Here

Bill Lowrance
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

FBI Warns Holiday Cyber Scammers

Posted by Bill on December 2, 2008

FBI alert

The FBI is reminding people this holiday season that cyber criminals continue to aggressively seek ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers are using several techniques to fool potential victims including sending unsolicited e-mails that contain attachments such as electronic greeting cards containing malware (malicious software), setting up spoofing websites that look like legitimate commercial sites, and unleashing phishing and vishing attacks where individuals receive e-mails asking for personal data.

“These cyber scammers will do whatever they can to steal your money and personal information this holiday season and are trying many different ways to commit these crimes. The best way to protect yourself is to report these scams to law enforcement or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, IC3,” said Shawn Henry, Assistant Director, FBI Cyber Division, Washington, D.C.  Read Story Here

Bill Lowrance

Attorney at Law
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in crime, FBI, fraud, Investigations, law enforcement, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

IRS Mileage Rates New 2009

Posted by Bill on December 2, 2008

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2009 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 55 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The new rates for business, medical and moving purposes are slightly lower than rates for the second half of 2008 that were raised by a special adjustment mid-year in response to a spike in gasoline prices. The rate for charitable purposes is set by law and is unchanged from 2008.

The business mileage rate was 50.5 cents in the first half of 2008 and 58.5 cents in the second half. The medical and moving rate was 19 cents in the first half and 27 cents in the second half.

The mileage rates for 2009 reflect generally higher transportation costs compared to a year ago, but the rates also factor in the recent reversal of rising gasoline prices. While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage rate, other fixed and variable costs, such as depreciation, enter the calculation.

See Whole Story Click Here

Bill Lowrance
Attorney at Law

Lowrance Law LLC

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigators | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Pitfalls When Using The Web To Find Someone

Posted by Bill on November 24, 2008

Posted by:
Ed Hruneni
VP PIAVA

When interested in finding an old friend or an associate whom you have lost contact with many people search the web and use Google among other web resources.

Often this works but then again often it leads to just frustration. The next step usually is looking on the web for free or pay services which advertized that they will locate old classmates, missing family members and loves of your past! Find anyone!

The free ones sometimes only get you on another junk mailing list, without getting anymore info than you already had. Other free sites are really not free at all, they do the check for free but then there is a cost for providing you any info they found. The cost can vary from $30 to $100.

You’re so close you go for it, and then results come in and, it’s the same info you already obtained from Google and sometimes even less. You want to complain but you notice that there are no addresses or telephone numbers listed so that you can make a complaint.  Consumer-complaint sites are loaded with complaints about these types of scams.

What could be next, try another web only company that charges up front for their services. Many people have tried this approach and many have lost chunks of money with little or no results.

Give Up? Do what you probably should have done to begin with. Find a Licensed local Private Investigation company that has the resources to obtain the information you’re looking for. Get the cost up front from a real person whom you can talk to, of which you have their name, address, and phone number.

To get access to data bases needed for this type of work, a real legit company has to be licensed, and checked out by the data base service. Information obtained needs to be analyzed by a real licensed/registered Investigator often a person with a past law enforcement background. This produces more accurate and better cross checked information. A computer geek without investigative experience who does not have the time to spend on your case (since he/she deals with volume not accuracy, and gets no additional money for providing more info) will not give you the same results.

Good luck with your future searches. Be aware there are companies like American Security Programs that will provide this type of service and only charge the customer if the information requested is obtained. No results no cost.

Ed Hruneni
VP American Security Programs
Investigative Services
www.securityprograms.com<

Posted in crime, Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Research, Virginia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

VA Law Firm Named To Top Ten List Of Names

Posted by Bill on October 30, 2008

 A Virginia law firm was named on the “Ten Law Firms Names That Make You Scratch Your Head” according to very popular The Greatest American Lawyer Blog, See GALB.  The GALB posted the names for readers to vote on the top name.

The Virginia law firm making the list is Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen of Richmond, Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen–a great firm BTW.

Other names are:

  1. Payne & Fears
  2. Low, Ball & Lynch
  3. Weiner & Cox
  4. Smart & Biggar
  5. Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf
  6. Ball & Weed
  7. Boring & Leach
  8. Bickers & Bickers
  9. Slaughter & Slaughter
  10. Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen  

Posted in attorneys, lawyers, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Unpaid Parking Tickets = The Boot

Posted by Bill on October 29, 2008

  A lot of jurisdictions are using new recognition hardware and software to read license plates and compare to license plates for unpaid parking tickets or unpaid taxes.  If your license plate shows up/matches, your car gets the boot.  Read this Article

Certainly, facial recognition hardware/software from a handheld device cannot be far away.

Bill Lowrance
Attorney and Private Investigator
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigators, Public Records | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

100 Top Websites For Everything

Posted by Bill on October 6, 2008

 Great organized information resource from PC World.  If you want to know something, learn about something, find people, search public records or almost anything informational check out this good resource.  Click Here

Bill Lowrance www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Laws In Virginia–July 1, 2008, More Sangria Please

Posted by Bill on August 1, 2008

From the Excellent:  The Fairfax Times Fairfax Times Here New Laws Now in Play

As of July 1, 2008, Virginia

Virginians are now free to drink sangria and dessert wine in restaurants, but they can no longer use the Department of Motor Vehicles driving test as a substitute for behind-the-wheel driving classes.

Here is a small sampling of the dozens of new state laws that went into effect Tuesday, from alcohol to zoning.

Alcohol-Restaurants with mixed beverage licenses may now sell sangria and other beverages that mix liquor with wine or beer. Restaurants with limited mixed beverage licenses may sell dessert wine.

Animal fighting-The fighting of any animals, except dogs, is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Dog fighting is a felony. Officers investigating animal fighting allegations may now conduct searches at night.

Driving-Anyone who fails the DMV drivers test three times must attend driving school before attempting to take the test again. Anyone under 21 who is convicted of drinking and driving loses his or her license for a year and has to pay a $500 fine or perform 50 hours of community service. The penalty for second and subsequent violations of the child restraint law is now up to $500.

Mental health-The standard for involuntarily committing someone to mental health treatment is lower. The person must have a significant risk of harming himself or others. Anyone who has been declared to be mentally incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment is prohibited from purchasing a gun.

Miscellaneous-Anyone who knowingly buys or receives stolen goods is also culpable for the theft. Anyone who is fired from a job for failing a drug test is ineligible for unemployment compensation. The term “mentally retarded” has been replaced with “intellectually disabled” in state code.

Sex offenses-Legislators removed a loophole in state law that allowed men to escape prosecution by marrying girls 14 and older whom they were accused of attacking. Sex offenders who are prohibited from having contact with children may not go within 100 feet of a playground, athletic field/facility or gymnasium. Violation is a Class 6 felony. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for someone 18 or older to tongue kiss a child 13 or younger. Anyone found guilty must register as a sex offender.

Zoning-Localities may carry over zoning violations when a property is sold, an effort to prevent illegal boardinghouses from re-emerging.

 

Times Community © 2007 | Fairfax Times

 

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

www.piava.org

 

www.informationinsightsinc.com

 

Posted in attorneys, crime, Investigations, law enforcement, lawyers, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Virginia | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Data Collection Laws–US & EU

Posted by Bill on July 30, 2008

  I recently came across two good articles addressing the data privacy laws of the European Union and the data privacy laws of the United States.  The articles were published in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management section’s “Law Technology Today.”

John Tredennick is the author. Mr. Tredennick is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and is one of the early pioneers in litigation technology. In his articles, he discusses the various laws and penalties of data privacy in the European Union, and compares Michigan and Texas recent laws requiring computer forensics experts to qualify as private investigators. If you do computer forensics work in Michigan and you are not licensed, you are committing a felony.

Read with interest:

Collecting Data in the EU—A Few Things You Should Know Before You Jump In the Water

By John Tredennick

“The rules for collecting data in other countries are different than in the U. S. and those differences are important. If you collect the wrong data in the EU or collect the right data the wrong way, the penalties could be more severe than monetary sanctions. You might end up in jail.  Here is a look at some of the issues you face collecting data in the European Union.”

Read Article

Collecting Computer Data in the U.S.: Pick the Wrong State and You Could Wind Up in Jail

By John Tredennick

“Two states have recently enacted statutes that make it a crime for unlicensed individuals to engage in computer forensics. Texas passed a law that would give regulators the power to impose up to a year in jail and a $14,000 fine on people doing “computer investigations.” Michigan went a bit further. On May 28 th of this year, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law a bill that makes unlicensed computer forensics work in Michigan a felony punishable by up to a four-year prison term, damages of up to $25,000 and a criminal fine of up to $5,000.”

Read Article

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Information Insights Inc McLean, VA

Posted in attorneys, computer forensics, crime, Investigations, lawyers, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Research | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Pellicano Case To Change Way Attorneys Use Private Investigators?

Posted by Bill on July 13, 2008

Attorneys are going to change the way they view hiring private investigators and what type of work is authorized for the private investigator.  This is all due to the Anthony Pellicano case in Los Angeles and the jobs he did for attorney Terry Christensen. See prior post on Pellicano Here

Los Angeles attorney Terry Christensen, managing partner at Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, hired and used the private investigator services of Anthony Pellicano who was convicted several months ago for a multitude of federal crimes.  Christensen was indicted in 2006 when the federal grand jury alleged that Christensen paid Pellicano to record and report on telephone conversations in some high profile cases.  See Christensen Indicted.  Christensen was accused of paying Pellicano to illegally wiretap some individuals. 

Federal prosecutors allegedly have dozens of recordings of conversations between Pellicano and Christensen, and they intend to prove that Christensen paid Pellicano to illegally wiretap individuals in some of his high profile cases.  If convicted, Christensen could face up to 10 years in prison. U.S. v. Pellicano, No. 2:2005-cr-01046 (C.D. Calif.).

Now it is reported that many lawyers are thinking about the way they work with private investigators.

The National Law Journal published an excellent article, see Article, analyzing the Pellicano and other cases involving attorneys’ viewpoints on future use of private investigators.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA, www.piava.org

www.informationinsightsinc.com

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IRS Recommends Business Entity

Posted by Bill on June 23, 2008

Of all the choices you make when starting a business, one of the most important is the type of legal organization you select for your company. This decision can affect how much you pay in taxes, the amount of paperwork your business is required to do, the personal liability you face and your ability to borrow money. Business formation is controlled by the law of the state where your business is organized.

This fact sheet provides a quick look at the differences between the most common forms of business entities. The most common forms of businesses are:

Sole Proprietorships
Partnerships
Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

While state law controls the formation of your business, federal tax law controls how your business is taxed.  Federal tax law recognizes an additional business form, the Subchapter S Corporation.

Read

Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS Increases Mileage Rate

Posted by Bill on June 23, 2008

The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2008. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes

The rate will increase to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008. This is an increase of eight (8) cents from the 50.5 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2008, as set forth in Read here

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Intelligence Community Reference Book–At Last The “Idiots Guide”

Posted by Bill on June 18, 2008

 

Want to know all about the National Security Act of 1947 or the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 or even the Counterintelligence Enhancement Act of 2002?  Well, you can get in bed on a rainy afternoon, flop under the covers and read this book.  It has everything you want to know from homeland security to information privacy and other legal rights of Americans.  Check it out:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released the Intelligence Community Legal Reference Book. This book was published in 2007, but has just been released to the general public. It includes legislation, procedures, and guidelines related to intelligence and national security. All documents in the book are unclassified.

Bill Lowrance

Information Insights Inc.

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, PI Chatter, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

At The NALI Conference Today

Posted by Bill on June 13, 2008

PIAVA is at the NALI conference today in Arlington, VA.  Yesterday, NALI members and conference attendees toured the Library of Congress learning all the various types of information available through research.  After that the members/attendees walked up to Congress to talk with their representatives about current issues in the professional investigative industry.

Today, various people are giving presentations on attorney/private investigator relationships, “At Risk Protection & Investigations,” managing large investigations, locating hidden assets, fraud investigations, business due diligence investigations and digital forensics.  Attendees receive continuing education credits for going to the sessions.

Some of the exhibitors here are Jimmie Mesis, PI Magazine, www.pimagazine.com, IRB’s Kristen Gilley, www.irbsearch.com, is here along with OTL Tactical, Beth Kalyan, www.otltacticl.com, Tina Green, El Dorado Insurance, www.eldoradoinsurance.com, Mike Yergey, Yergey Insurance Agency, www.yergeyins.com, Paige Arrington, G.A. Public Records Service, www.gaprs.biz, Shawn Monroe, www.paraben.com, and Amanda Cunha, Locate Plus, www.locateplus.com.

Our good friend Rosalie Folino, J&R Folino, LLC, www.jrfolinollc.com, stopped by and assisted the writer in clarifying information and, most importantly, spell checking live time.

Now is lunch time, and we will be back with more news later.

Bill Lowrnce

President PIAVA

Posted in Investigations, PI Chatter, PIAVA, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Virginia | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »