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DOJ: We can force you to decrypt that laptop

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posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 05:36 AM
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Of course this could set a huge precedent.... because IMO this would violate the 5th amendment.

DOJ: We can force you to decrypt that laptop

The Colorado prosecution of a woman accused of a mortgage scam will test whether the government can punish you for refusing to disclose your encryption passphrase.

The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to order the defendant, Ramona Fricosu, to decrypt an encrypted laptop that police found in her bedroom during a raid of her home.

Because Fricosu has opposed the proposal, this could turn into a precedent-setting case. No U.S. appeals court appears to have ruled on whether such an order would be legal or not under the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which broadly protects Americans' right to remain silent.

In an amicus brief (PDF) filed on Friday, the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the Justice Department's request be rejected because of Fricosu's Fifth Amendment rights. The Fifth Amendment says that "no person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

"Decrypting the data on the laptop can be, in and of itself, a testimonial act--revealing control over a computer and the files on it," said EFF Senior staff attorney Marcia Hofmann. "Ordering the defendant to enter an encryption password puts her in the situation the Fifth Amendment was designed to prevent: having to choose between incriminating herself, lying under oath, or risking contempt of court."


I hope the fifth amendment wins on that one, but I'm not holding my breath.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 05:39 AM
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reply to post by Vitchilo
 


It's a federal offence to not disclose an encryption key when required to do so by the authorities...

Not saying I agree with it, but imagine if you caught a terrorist (for the person in this example, a 100% proven guilty terrorist) who had information stored on an encrypted external hard drive which would prevent a few thousand people dying.

That's why it's an offence to not hand over the key.
edit on 13/7/11 by Death_Kron because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 05:43 AM
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What can they do to you if you just say you forgot the password? Or you wrote the password on a piece of paper which you can't find anymore? How can they prove that your statement is a lie? They can't prove it!

Ko3



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 05:55 AM
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Originally posted by kid_of_3NKi
What can they do to you if you just say you forgot the password? Or you wrote the password on a piece of paper which you can't find anymore? How can they prove that your statement is a lie? They can't prove it!

Ko3


They can't prove your lying, but if I'm correct they sadly can still charge you for failing to hand over the key.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:31 AM
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Doesn't this kind of fall under the same lines of;
If you refuse to take a polygraph, then by extension, are guilty of what you are accused of?



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:36 AM
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Just FYI -- you can encrypt things with 2 keys. One is the actual key, the other is a decoy key which will work to 'decrypt' the volume and reveal whatever info you put in there as a decoy.

But of course I would never use such a devious system, and you know that all of the keys I may be forced to hand over to the government someday are in fact the genuine keys. Yes sir. You're welcome sir.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:43 AM
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The law is completely useless for the supposed intention.

People that have some knowledge of encryption will just use a "hidden volume" kind of encryption, essentially putting one encrypted container inside another.

You would have two keys, one that would decrypt the obvious volume which you could fill will data that might look like something you would encrypt, but it would either be false or of little value.

Inside that volume you have a second volume that does not show up unless you have that second decryption key, it simply does not exist and would look like the garbage that is on a hard drive after writing and deleting files over a period of time.

I am sure there are even more complex encryption techniques that a person with bad intent could apply. The only people this law will truly effect is the average person and more and more of our privacy rights are stripped away.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:45 AM
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I think you can place one encypted volume within another encrypted volume, within another encrypted volume, and so on, and so on. Go at least 10 levels deep. Yes it will chew up some disk space, but it can be done. How will the DOJ know when they have reached the final volume, and there are no more to find? They won't.

I have not tried it, but I know of someone who has.

My question is how does someone remember all those passwords???? lol!!!

-E2



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:50 AM
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Originally posted by EyesII
I think you can place one encypted volume within another encrypted volume, within another encrypted volume, and so on, and so on. Go at least 10 levels deep. Yes it will chew up some disk space, but it can be done. How will the DOJ know when they have reached the final volume, and there are no more to find? They won't.

I have not tried it, but I know of someone who has.

My question is how does someone remember all those passwords???? lol!!!

-E2


I probably have about 30 in my head for various personal and work applications.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 06:54 AM
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reply to post by Death_Kron
 

Your assuming terrorists have the same rights as us.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:02 AM
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I am a huge supporter of our constitutional rights, but I have to say this isn't one of them (in my opinion, of course). If they have a warrant to search the computer, you should be expected to let them search it the same as you'd be expected to let them search your home if they had a warrant.

You don't have to show them where to look, but you gotta let 'em in.


"If agents execute a search warrant and find, say, a diary handwritten in code, could the target be compelled to decode, i.e., decrypt, the diary?"


In this case no, the person shouldn't be forced to decode their entries, as I believe THAT is protected under the 5th Amendment.


edit on 7/13/2011 by Adyta because: edited to add and clarify



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by Bixxi3
reply to post by Death_Kron
 

Your assuming terrorists have the same rights as us.


How exactly do the authorities know who is a terrorist and who isn't?



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:09 AM
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Quit drinking the Kool-Aid.

This is absolutely a violation of this woman’s Constitutional Rights.

There is no such thing as situational ethics. Either you stand by your principles or you don’t.

The terrorism argument is brainwashing at its finest. Please don’t even allow that argument to rest in your mind, not even for a second. This is a classic Divide & Conquer tactic. If the authorities can get you to marginalize a person or group of persons by “labeling” them as whatever they have successfully reduced both of your rights as citizens. We all have witnesses this tactic in action from the “War on Drugs”, War on Terrorism”, “War on Poverty”, to “War” on whatever. Each and every time it is All citizens rights are reduced.

It is your own government that hates you for your freedoms, not some made-up boogieman.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:16 AM
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its a crime if you refuse to give them the encryption key.. But if you have forgotten your password...well..



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:19 AM
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Personally I think if the state wants access it should be down to them to access the information they want and not demand it be given to them or demand a suspect incriminate themselves.

To think we have spent at least the last 800 years trying to reign in the absolute power of the authorities and now we are rolling over and letting them do exactly that..



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by Death_Kron

Originally posted by Bixxi3
reply to post by Death_Kron
 

Your assuming terrorists have the same rights as us.


How exactly do the authorities know who is a terrorist and who isn't?

well in your example they were 100% certain...



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:22 AM
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The real question is however, "can one force a magnet to unmagnetify a laptop Hard Drive it has wrecked?"



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:26 AM
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Let us take a minute and view this issue from a different vantage point. Let us put the shoe on the other foot.

Would the Government allow an encrypted computer become evidence in a suit against them ?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

We must stop allowing ourselves to be SUBSERVANT to the to the Government. Just entertaining the thought that the Government has any right to view this woman’s encrypted system is in error.

We are the Master and the Government is our servant NOT the other way around.

We must ACT on this principle and refuse any request from our Government to violate our Civil Rights.

If our Government had a history of being fair and trustworthy then we could afford cooperation in areas that required assistance.

This is not the case. Our Government has proven time and again that it is NOT trustworthy presently or historically.

Remember this:

When a person ( in this case Government) shows you who they really are…Believe them…the FIRST Time !



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by Adyta
You don't have to show them where to look, but you gotta let 'em in.


So hand them the computer and turn it on for them. After that they have to find what they're looking for.

It's like serving a search warrant for your house, searching all they can yet not finding anything, then demanding you tell them where the thing they were searching for is.

They have a warrant to search. Not torture and coerce.

If they couldnt find it tough. They had their chance.



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Still, refusing to had over the encryption key is a crime.

As I said originally, I don't necessarily support this but I'm just giving the facts.




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