ANSWERS: 9
  • Oh, oh...I'd be looking out my window right now and preparing my exit strategy if I were you... The SS is watching you and won't be long till they come to take you away!
  • If they can get it to boot, they can look any anything that is on your hard drive. Whether they actually do, and if so they chose to do anything about it is another matter.
  • They can get you a nice fine or a prison sentence. Many paedophiles have been caught this way.
  • You should look at the company's privacy policiy. Because if their only job is to make your computer start properly, they're probably not allowed to go browsing through your files. And any evidence found through illegal means cannot be used in court (at least where I live) I knew someone who sent their computer in and the tech people began looking through his pictures. He has a video of the whole thing to prove it. He received a fair settlement.
  • If the illegal files contain terrorist threats or plans for suitcase bombs, you should take your computer to a cell-approved tech. However, if you've been stealing music or videos chances are the tech just wants to get it fixed and out the door. Of course it's always possible that the tech you get despises people who do whatever you have done and is on a mission to bring them to account, and with your computer in his hands he can do it, but I'd say rather unlikely.
  • They most definitely can since they have your drive. They generally don't beyond ensuring that you don't have a collection of kiddy porn. While finding your plans to hijack a 747 or the schematics to a bomb would require some serious digging, kiddy porn can be found *real* quickly and easily and is blatant enough (in a thumbnail view) to qualify as "in plain sight" and thus skirt the requirements for a warrant. Aside form that one exception, they generally don't snoop around too much and cannot tell where files can from anyways so they cannot tell whether a file was downloaded legally or not. As for what they could do if they find illegal files on your PC, that depends on what kind of files. If they somehow twig that your entire MP3 collection is bootlegged than you are in for a multi-million dollar fine from the RIAA. Most things *may* result in fines (often less than what the RIAA/MPAA get) and maybe a little jail time but that is rare. And then there are some things that will get you 5-15 years pretty easily. Either you already know what those are or you don't have any on your hard drive and shouldn't worry.
  • It probably won't boot because you got a virus downloading illegal files. Really. . I suggest you buy a new hard drive for your laptop and reinstall from your original install disks. . Then download some good antivirus first. . Then be careful about downloading illegal files ... as in don't.
  • The answer to your question is YES...sort of. They cannot "deliberately" search your computer for any and all illegal files and programs. Without a warrant, this is illegal search and seazure. However, if they FIND anything illegal on your computer IN THE COURSE OF CONDUCTING REPAIRS, then they may be obligated by law to report it. In fact, they MAY earn a reward for it, depending on what they find. This means, should they find an illegal file or program, they can report it to the authorities. From there, the authorities can then get a warrant issued to conduct a thorough search of the rest of the data on your computer for additional illegal stuff. How frequently does this happen and what kind of stuff do they look for? I dunno. What kind of consequences can you suffer for this? Depends on what they find and how much they find. For example, on pirated music, each music file can be considered a separate offense with it's own fine. So if, for example, the fine levied for one offense was $2,000 and you had 10,000 music files illegally pirated, that would be $20 MILLION dollars. Just an example with assumed numbers, but if you google "pirated music fines" you can come up with several cases to illustrate my point. And then there's the issue with porn, illegally obtained programs, cracked programs, evidence of hacking, illegally obtained personal records, etc. Hope this helps.
  • Dood no computer repair people are going to report you for music on your harddrive, seriously. First how would they know if its legit, secondly its not their job, thirdly there is no reward from RIAA and forthly how often have you ever heard of anything other than a civil lawsuit for copyright infringement? Anyway, like someone else said, unless you have child porn on your computer you have nothing to worry about from the repair guy.

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