Private Investigators Storm Washington D.C.
by Brian McGuinness 10-14-2010

We had a very successful annual "Hit the Hill" campaign in Washington D.C. on September 29, 2010. This was the annual meeting that NCISS - National Council of Investigation & Security Services has in Washington. Private investigators and security professionals are encouraged to attend in order to meet with Congressional representatives and their staff on issues and legislation that is important to our professions.

More than 60 PI’s and security professionals visited approx 250 congressional representatives and 50+ Senator offices. More than 15 attendees actually met with their representatives or senators. Legislation including Data Breach and Caller ID Spoofing Bills were discussed and our positions made known on these as well as a number of other bills. NCISS Government Relations Consultant (Lobbyist)  Larry Sabbath and Legislative Committee Chairman Jimmie Meisis provided attendees with a briefing prior to us hitting the hill and provided a well prepared and informative packet that we each left with Congressional members and staffers.

If you are unfamiliar with Caller ID Spoofing, it is a technique that I have used on occasion where I use a service and have the option of using my voice or change to that of a woman's voice when conversing. I also can have the target telephone number's caller ID equipment read out the telephone number and alpha characters of my choice. It is very useful when trying to outsmart bad guys, judgment debtors and fraudsters. Unfortunately, it is also a useful tool for bad guys. So the key language that the House Bill has which is to our benefit is that it is not outlawed unless used to cause harm-usually financial harm. We are lobbying our Senators to include this language in the Senate version of the bill.

The Data Breach issue was in regard to a proposed Bill that inadvertently may include private investigators as data providers and put unnecessary restrictions upon us in regard to how we retain personal identity information on individuals.

Burt Hodge and I - both former presidents of the Florida Assn of Licensed Investigators - met with my Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her legislative director. We also met with Counsel for Senator Bill Nelson and a legislative aide in Senator George LeMieux' office. They seemed to see our perspective and appreciate it. However, we will see when it comes to a vote! It was a worthwhile and positive experience. Thanks for your support and interest.

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