HB1361: Computer & digital forensic services; exempt from regulation as a private security service business.

Offered January 22, 2010
A BILL to amend and reenact § 9.1-140 of the Code of Virginia, relating to regulation of private security service businesses; exempts computer and digital forensic services.
Patron-- Keam (By Request)

Referred to Committee on Science and Technology

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 9.1-140 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 9.1-140. Exceptions from article; training requirements for out-of-state central station dispatchers.

The provisions of this article shall not apply to:

1. An officer or employee of the United States, the Commonwealth, or a political subdivision of either, while the officer or employee is performing his official duties.

2. A person, except a private investigator as defined in § 9.1-138, engaged exclusively in the business of obtaining and furnishing information regarding an individual's financial rating or a person engaged in the business of a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

3. An attorney or certified public accountant licensed to practice in Virginia or his employees.

4. The legal owner of personal property which has been sold under any security agreement while performing acts relating to the repossession of such property.

5. A person receiving compensation for private employment as a security officer, or receiving compensation under the terms of a contract, express or implied, as a security officer, who is also a law-enforcement officer as defined by § 9.1-101 and employed by the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions.

6. Any person appointed under § 46.2-2003 or 56-353 while engaged in the employment contemplated thereunder, unless they have successfully completed training mandated by the Department.

7. Persons who conduct investigations as a part of the services being provided as a claims adjuster, by a claims adjuster who maintains an ongoing claims adjusting business, and any natural person employed by the claims adjuster to conduct investigations for the claims adjuster as a part of the services being provided as a claims adjuster.

8. Any natural person otherwise required to be registered pursuant to § 9.1-139 who is employed by a business that is not a private security services business for the performance of his duties for his employer. Any such employee, however, who carries a firearm and is in direct contact with the general public in the performance of his duties shall possess a valid registration with the Department as required by this article.

9. Persons, sometimes known as "shoppers," employed to purchase goods or services solely for the purpose of determining or assessing the efficiency, loyalty, courtesy, or honesty of the employees of a business establishment.

10. Licensed or registered private investigators from other states entering Virginia during an investigation originating in their state of licensure or registration when the other state offers similar reciprocity to private investigators licensed and registered by the Commonwealth.

11. Unarmed regular employees of telephone public service companies where the regular duties of such employees consist of protecting the property of their employers and investigating the usage of telephone services and equipment furnished by their employers, their employers' affiliates, and other communications common carriers.

12. An end user.

13. A material supplier who renders advice concerning the use of products sold by an electronics security business and who does not provide installation, monitoring, repair or maintenance services for electronic security equipment.

14. Members of the security forces who are directly employed by electric public service companies.

15. Any professional engineer or architect licensed in accordance with Chapter 4 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 to practice in the Commonwealth, or his employees.

16. Any person who only performs telemarketing or schedules appointments without access to information concerning the electronic security equipment purchased by an end user.

17. Any certified forensic scientist employed as an expert witness for the purpose of possibly testifying as an expert witness.

18. Members of the security forces who are directly employed by shipyards engaged in the construction, design, overhaul or repair of nuclear vessels for the United States Navy.

19. An out-of-state central station dispatcher employed by a private security services business licensed by the Department provided he (i) possesses and maintains a valid license, registration, or certification as a central station dispatcher issued by the regulatory authority of the state in which he performs the monitoring duties and (ii) has submitted his fingerprints to the regulatory authority for the conduct of a national criminal history records search.

20. Any person, or independent contractor or employee of any person, who (i) exclusively contracts directly with an agency of the federal government to conduct background investigations and (ii) possesses credentials issued by such agency authorizing such person, subcontractor or employee to conduct background investigations.

21. Any person whose occupation is limited to the technical reconstruction of the cause of accidents involving motor vehicles as defined in § 46.2-100, regardless of whether the information resulting from the investigation is to be used before a court, board, officer, or investigative committee, and who is not otherwise a private investigator as defined in § 9.1-138.

22. Retail merchants performing locksmith services, selling locks or engaged in key cutting activities conducted at the business location who do not represent themselves to the general public as locksmiths.

23. Law enforcement, fire, rescue, emergency service personnel, or other persons performing locksmith services in an emergency situation without compensation and who do not represent themselves to the general public as locksmiths.

24. Motor vehicle dealers as defined in § 46.2-1500 performing locksmith services who do not represent themselves to the general public as locksmiths.

25. Taxicab and towing businesses performing locksmith services that do not represent themselves to the general public as locksmiths.

26. Contractors licensed under Chapter 11 (§ 54.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 54.1 performing locksmith services when acting within the scope of such license who do not represent themselves to the general public as locksmiths.

27. Any contractor as defined in § 54.1-1100 (i) who is exempt from the licensure requirements of Chapter 11 (§ 54.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 54.1, (ii) where the total value referred to in a single contract or project is less than $1,000, (iii) when the performance of locksmith services is ancillary to the work performed by such contractor, and (iv) who does not represent himself to the general public as a locksmith.

28. Any individual, employed by a retail merchant that also holds a private security services business license as a locksmith, where such individual's duties relating to such license are limited to key cutting and the key cutting is performed under the direct supervision of the licensee.

29. Any individual engaged in (i) computer or digital forensic services or in the acquisition, review, or analysis of digital or computer-based information, whether for purposes of obtaining or furnishing information for evidentiary or other purposes, or for providing expert testimony before a court or (ii) network or system vulnerability testing, including network scans and risk assessment and analysis of computers connected to a network.