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Archive for the ‘Public Records’ Category

Competative Intelligence Update September 2013

Posted by Bill on October 8, 2013

One of the most popular sites for many investigators, attorneys and researchers is Sabrina I. Pacifici’s fantastic Competitive Intelligence site. See Competitive Intelligence Guide – Updated as of September 2013.

Sabrina I. Pacifici is Founder, Editor, Publisher of LLRX.Com; (established in 1996), the free web journal consistently recognized as a publisher of comprehensive, meticulously documented, non-partisan guides and content-rich resources, commentary and actionable information on Internet research and web-related current awareness issues invaluable to legal, academic, corporate, government and public interest researchers. LLRX  is a great site to keep up with all the latest in legal and technology resources.

Good reading and keep investigating and pay no attention to the forced WordPress Ads that pop up.

Bill Lowrance
Lowrance Law LLC
Attorney, Investigator and Legal Consultant

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Competitive Intelligence & Internet Research-Update

Posted by Bill on May 5, 2011

Well, Sabrina I. Pacifici did another amazing job of updating her Competitive Intelligence resource at  Competitive Intelligence. If you want to have one resource that assists you in conducting thorough research, this site is for you. Sabrina is founder and solo Editor, Publisher of LLRX.com, a valuable site for research and resources. Check it out. Sabrina updated her guide in March of this year. The guide is a valuable resource for researching everything and anything. Private investigators, attorneys, researchers and the general public will find the guide a very useful tool.

The site has every type of search engine, people tracking resources, business resources and resources for search news, TV and radio news transcripts.

My one word explanation —- Wow!

Bill Lowrance
Attorney, private investigator, legal consultant
www.lowrancelaw.com

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

FBI New FOIA Requesting Procedure — Electronic

Posted by Bill on April 27, 2010

                      

          The FBI announced a new change in submitting FOIA requests. You can submit such requests via the FBI website. You can use This Form .   The FBI said the new electronic form makes requesting information easier.  Visit the Bureau’s FOIA page Here to learn about the Bureau’s recording keeping and its FOIA policy. The bureau said it revamped its records Web site to include a guide for research in FBI Records, details on what happens after you make a request and data on how to file an appeal with the Justice Department.

Bill Lowrance
Attorney/private investigator/legal consulting
 www.lowrancelaw.com
 www.informationinsightsinc.com

Posted in attorneys, crime, FBI, FOIA, Investigations, law enforcement, private investigator, Public Records, Research | 3 Comments »

Business Intelligence Online

Posted by Bill on April 11, 2010

A great online resource for business intelligence by By Marcus P. Zillman, Published on February 3, 2010, is on LLRX .com.  It lists hundreds of sites to conduct business research.  Go to http://tinyurl.com/ybm8yue and check it out.

Bill Lowrance
Attorney & Private Investigator
www.lowrancelaw.com
McLean, VA
703 506 1600

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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

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

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

VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council

Posted by Bill on June 8, 2009

Interesting public records activity in Virginia.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council, FOIA Council , is having a meeting today the Personal Identifying Information Subcommittee of the FOIA Council. Meeting is today, Monday, June 8, 2009, 1 p.m., in the Speaker’s Conference Room, Sixth Floor, General Assembly Building, 910 Capitol St., Richmond, VA.  See Memo and agenda HERE

Agenda includes:

Review of bills referred by the 2009 Session for further study by the FOIA Council:

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; disclosure of official records; exceptions. Provides that records of the Department shall be subject to the disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, except that personal information, as defined in § 2.2-3801, of individual applicants for or holders of any hunting, fishing, boating, or trapping license issued by an agent of the Department shall be withheld from public disclosure, provided that such individuals have requested that the Department not disclose such information. However, statistical summaries, abstracts, or other records containing information in an aggregate form that does not identify individual applicants or licensees shall be disclosed. The bill provides, however, that such information may be released (i) in accordance with a proper judicial order, (ii) to any law-enforcement agency, officer, or authorized agent thereof acting in the performance of official law-enforcement duties, or (iii) to any person who is the subject of the record.

HB 2471 (Hugo); Freedom of Information Act; salary records of teachers. Provides that the disclosure of the names of individual teachers is not required under FOIA in response to a request for the official salary or rate of pay of employees of a local school board.

HB 2630 (Crockett-Stark); Law-Enforcement Officers’ Privacy Protection Act. Allows a law-enforcement officer to request that personal information about the officer be withheld from disclosure on public records. For purposes of the Act, “personal information” includes the officer’s name, social security number, address, phone number, and any other information that could be used to physically locate the officer. NOTE:  You will recall that Delegate Crockett-Stark was present at the April 27, 2009 FOIA Council meeting to discuss HB 2630.  She indicated that there is a similar law in place in Ohio that was enacted because a family member of a law enforcement officer was murdered after personal information about the officer was made available. She stated that her sheriff had requested a similar law in Virginia.  Staff noted that in Virginia personal information about public employees is exempt from FOIA; however, real property assessment records and court records are open to the public as a matter of law.   The Council noted that there are two competing policies at work in this instance– privacy versus a community’s awareness of the identity of its officers.  The Council asked Delegate Crockett-Stark to have her contact call Delegate Griffith to identify the specific issue of concern so that the scope of the bill could be narrowed to address the issue.

SB 1332 (Cuccinelli); Private entities operating, managing, or supervising any portion of the state highway system. Provides that a private entity that operates, manages, or supervises any portion of the state highway system and receives funding from the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions shall be considered a public body for purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia as it relates to that portion of the private entity’s business operations responsible for operating, managing, or supervising the portion of the state highway system. 

At the April 27, 2009 FOIA Council meeting, members of the Council agreed that the issue behind this bill was unclear.  Senator Griffith directed staff to re-invite Senator Cuccinelli to address the Council at its next meeting.  Therefore no action is required by the Subcommittee at this time.
 
Social Security Numbers and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (GDCDPA):

Collection of SSNs: The Council has already indicated its intent to continue studying this area, which will coincide with the analysis of the results of last year’s survey regarding collection and use of SSNs.  This year’s study will focus on identifying and eliminating the unnecessary collection of SSNs by government. It is hoped that by limiting collection in the first instance, the need for additional protections to be added later will be reduced or eliminated.  In addition, because the SSN survey produced an unexpectedly large volume of responses that necessitated additional time for analysis, SB 1318/HB 2426 were passed in 2009 as recommendations of the FOIA Council to delay until 2010 the implementation date prohibiting the collection of an individual’s social security number unless collection of such number is (i) authorized or required by state or federal law and (ii) essential for the performance of that agency’s duties.  Note that in light of HB 2427 (May), establishing the Protection of Social Security Numbers Act, as discussed below, the Council needs to decide what further action, if any, needs to be taken

Disclosure of SSNs: HB 2427 (May) establishes the Protection of Social Security Numbers Act (the Act), which will become effective July 1, 2009.  In brief, the Act exempts from FOIA the first five digits of SSNs except under certain limited circumstances, and provides penalties for improper disclosure.  The final four digits of SSNs found in public records will remain open to public disclosure under FOIA.   In past meetings the Council has debated the merits of this and other protective schemes that would limit the disclosure of SSNs.  Again, the Act’s passage in 2009 raises the question of whether any further action regarding disclosure of SSNs is necessary at this time, and if so, what form should that action take.

Bill Lowrance

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

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 »

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 »

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 »

SEC Edgar No More

Posted by Bill on September 1, 2008

SEC Announces Successor to EDGAR Database“IDEA” Will Make Company and Fund Information Interactive

Washington, D.C., Aug. 19, 2008 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today unveiled the successor to the agency’s 1980s-era EDGAR database, which will give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds.

Read whole story:  Click Here

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA www.piava.org

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

US Federal Courts Redact Information

Posted by Bill on September 1, 2008

From The Third Branch Newsletter of the Federal Courts:
Read whole story:  Click Here

To protect the privacy of litigants, the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure require that certain personal data identifiers be modified or partially redacted from federal court case files. These identifiers are Social Security numbers, dates of birth, financial account numbers, and names of minor children, and in criminal cases, also home addresses.

But redaction, once a matter of drawing a heavy black line through the words on paper, has changed with the electronic filing of documents. A black bar drawn over the text is no longer enough to block it from view. In an electronic file, the obscured text still lurks beneath the highlighter box and can be readily recalled. The text is hidden, not excised.

Attorneys filing pleadings recently in a Connecticut case learned that lesson the hard way. They created black boxes to cover text they wished to redact. Unfortunately, simply pasting the text into a Word file revealed the hidden information. Changing the text color to white so it disappears against the white screen/paper is similarly ineffective.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA, www.piava.org

Posted in attorneys, Investigations, lawyers, private detective, private investigations, private investigator, private investigators, Public Records, Research | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

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 »

Great Business Research Resource

Posted by Bill on June 7, 2008

Go to the below sites for a good business research resource–Public companies, private companies, news searches and a ton more.  Check it out.

Bill Lowrance

President PIAVA

Rutgers Research Guides Business

Rutgers Research Guide Companies

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Background Checks–Mistakes

Posted by Bill on May 31, 2008

  Business Week recently published an article entitled “The Trouble with Background Checks.”  Click for Story Here

The article points out that the “$4 billion business of background screening is booming.” Professional investigators know that “background checks” includes many things, and some checks may be very thorough or be shallow and produce mistakes. Many companies are looking for mass produced, inexpensive “background checks” to decide hiring employees. The prospective employee must consent to a background check of unknown origin and unknown detail.

Business Week points out that background screening companies profits have soared over 40% last year. The trouble with many background checks is making sure the information is correct, accurate and up to date. In addition, it is very nice to know the competency of the employees actually doing the background check. These type of background checks are generally just a search of computer data bases of various kinds. Some “screeners” will interview references. But will some reference dislike the applicant and tell vicious tales about the person? Who knows? Will the “background screener,” who is likely underpaid, be able to discern from the conversation the truthfulness of the reference’s statement?

I have been contacted by some government contracted background investigators who were checking on applicants for government jobs. i was not impressed with the method, nature or thoroughness of the interview. I could have told the investigator that the applicant was personally known to me to be the devil, and I do not think that would have slowed down the questioner.

If you are having background checks done by one of the larger companies, make sure you know what you are getting in return for you $24.95, $54.95 or whatever the amount you pay for the background check.

Bill Lowrance
President PIAVA

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

Virginia Courts Digitally Scanning Court Records

Posted by Bill on May 11, 2008

  Virginia Clerks of the Courts are scanning court records allowing electronic access to court documents normally seen only in the paper file in the clerk’s office.   Lawyers have expressed concern about their client’s personal information in the court records will be seen by anyone on the Internet. 

Read the whole story here: Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Bill Lowrance

President Piava

Information Insights Inc.

 

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