Judge Rules Americans Can Be Forced to Decrypt Personal Data Sources

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by KilljoyKlown, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,493
    But civil libertarians and information-freedom advocates say this flouts the Fifth Amendment, which protects Americans against unwillingly incriminating themselves.

    http://www.popsci.com/node/60141/?cmpid=enews012612&spPodID=020


    I'm conflicted over this issue. To me it doesn't look much different from a judge issuing a search warrant to a house or other locked facility. However if the owner doesn't unlock it they just break in anyway. But with encrypted data, there's a good chance they can't or won't be able to break it open. So they want to apply legal pressure to force disclosure.

    I'm not going to start a poll, but I'm thinking the forum will be split on this issue, with maybe the edge going towards not letting the government be allowed to force access to encrypted data.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,798
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. markl323 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    166
    wouldn't that be a violation of the 5th amendment? what happens to the right to remain silenced if we are ordered to tell them the pass phrase?

    encrypted data are like an extension of our brain/memory, no one should have access to them unless we allow it. what's next? legalizing forced confession???
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,726
    What about protection methods that wipe data when someone tries to decrypt it?

    What's to stop an individual doing this intentionally after being ordered by the courts to decrypt information, and would that make them in contempt?

    Is "oops" a defence?
     
  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    The simple answer to this problem is:

    Police: Give us the password Ms X.
    Ms X: Sure, I just changed it, the new one is: F.U.C.K.u.5.0
    Police: Enters in f.u.c.k.u.5.0

    Computer: Invalid Password

    Police: That's not the Password.
    Ms X: I was sure that was it, did you do it in all CAPS? it's F.U.C.K.u.5.0
    Police: Enters F.U.C.K.U.5.0

    Computer: Invalid Password

    Police: That's not the Password either.
    Ms X: Damn, I think only the F.U.C.K is in all CAPS? DUH!, Like I said it's F.U.C.K.u.5.0
    Police: Enters F.U.C.K.u.5.0

    Computer: Invalid Password

    Police: That's not the Password either.
    Ms X: Hmmm, I was almost positive that was it, maybe spell out U as YOU?

    Continue as long as needed.

    All the court can do is hold you in contempt, but you'll eventually win that as they can't prove you actually know the password.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  9. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,798
    It gets rather tricky, I would agree.

    I don't trust the technology even as I am using it, knowing that data can be so easily moved around and compromised and that hackers manage to circumvent encryption everyday.

    I'm reasonably certain, as example, that there is nothing terribly unusual or shocking on this PC that I have been using, but am I absolutely certain?

    I have no idea what this unit does when it goes about it's automated updates and routine self-servicing and I hear it whirring and chirping away on it's own time. :bugeye:
     
  10. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,516
    Interesting case. None of the analogies really hold up very well, so it's definitely groundbreaking. I'm not sure which side of the fence I'm on either.

    Any encryption can be broken, given enough time. Is there a limit of time for evidence to be held, or can they hold it so long as they're trying to break it?
     
  11. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,493
    It looks like this other forum is leaning towards letting the government have the password. But the question of forgetting the password is a good one. I've forgotten passwords before. Should I be put in jail until I can remember it? It really doesn't matter what anyone else believes, if I forgot that password, time spent in jail or being tortured won't help anybody very much.
     
  12. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,631
    For that matter, if you keep a ledger to track off of your illegal transactions, that ledger is also an extension of your memory...and yet it can be used against you in court.

    The only difference here is that the ledger is encrypted. In other words, if you are a mafia boss who is not mathematically sophisticated, you will go to jail. If you are mathematically sophisticated and can encrypt the data, you get off scot free.

    Suppose you only hire someone to set up your encryption. Do you feel that the government can't force that guy to decrypt the data? They are not using it against him, so the 5th amendment is irrelevant, but the data is still your thoughts stored electronically, so they would still be using your information against you.

    Do you think diaries should be inadmissible, just because they are extensions of memory?
     
  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,631
    There is a limit in that the Constitution guarantees a speedy trial. The government would basically have to let you go free (and drop the charges) if it was going to take them several months to crack the encryption. As long as jeopardy hasn't attached, they could refile charges later. Then spend a lot of money to do what the suspect could do in seconds, meanwhile the free citizen being investigated might be planning a trip to a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S.

    They can conceivably hold onto the data, though, as part of their ongoing investigation, without compensation.
     
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    As an example let us say that a kidnapper was in custiody for comitting a kidnapping of a child. The police wanted to know where he might be keeping the child but he refuses to say anything. The police get a search warrant to look through his home and anything relating to his case would be open to seizure. So they find a computer and bring it back in to the station with them and ask him for the password but he refuses.

    So in that case the search warrant was used to gain access to the entire computer including the hard drive. That would be a reasonable procedure, to me, so long as there was a search warrant issued and gave what could be confiscated and why. I'm sure they would find a way to open anything that the kidnapper refused to do voluntarily.
     
  15. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,493
    The article stated the user in question was using PGP encryption. It's been around for awhile and does a better than average job of protecting data. But for one that can afford better encryption, it would have to be considered a matter of national security before resources would be allocated to cracking it, and even then it could be set to destroy itself if not opened properly.

    So once again if your poor your screwed and if your rich you can get around the trouble if your not being overly stupid.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,049
    That would be same penelty as any fostruction of evidence, ie pevertimg the course of justice. Also can you be compelled to give a blood sample in the US for a BAC? if yes how is this different?
     
  17. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,119
    These are all very good points. You are simple arguing, who gets charged with a crime is dependent on who has the better memory and how good their memory is on committing a crime.

    But from my point of view, as an anarchist, similarly, I would argue, who gets charged with the crime in the first place, has to do with who is in a powerful enough position to not get caught, or manipulate the correct law, agency, or regulatory arm of the government.

    This sounds like the type of business associated with all of the smaller lending companies attached to the "too-big-too fail" banks, and the quasi-government, partially privatized Fannie and Freddie scams that fund the major politicians that run the system. You know, the Country Wides, and the Lending Trees. These were all bought up and bailed out however, they had to be, in order for the system to stay solvent.

    Smaller operations? Well, their "malfeasance," shit, now THAT needs to be prosecuted, b/c they never donated to the right politicians, right? :shrug:

    Let's not confuse the issue here. If it's all right to make a buck for the one percent by breaking the law, why not for everyone else? Laws don't mean shit in this country anymore, why do the corrupt ruling class only enforce them when someone else is making a buck off of the system?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Sure, this joker probably broke the law, but using her own records against her to prove it is just dirty and low when the vultures on Wall Street have gutted this country and bought the law makers and judges out doing the same damn things. Hypocrisy at its finest. What happened to this once fine country. If they can't prove it w/o stripping away the common decency and protections of what is left of our constitution, they shouldn't bother. This is small potatoes. If they are so concerned, nail her on her income taxes. Crookes and theives are pretty predictable, just watch 'em.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     

Share This Page