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Judge Rules Man Cannot Be Forced To Decrypt HD 775

Posted by kdawson
from the cold-dead-fingers dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "In Vermont, US Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier has ruled that forcing someone to divulge the password to decrypt their hard drive violates the 5th Amendment. Border guards testify that they saw child pornography on the defendant's laptop when the PC was on, but they made the mistake of turning it off and were unable to access it again because the drive was protected by PGP. Although prosecutors offered many ways to get around the 5th Amendment protections, the Judge would have none of that and quashed the grand jury subpoena requesting the defendant's PGP passphrase. A conviction is still likely because prosecutors have the testimony of the two border guards who saw the drive while it was open." The article stresses the potential importance of this ruling (which was issued last November but went unnoticed until now): "Especially if this ruling is appealed, US v. Boucher could become a landmark case. The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for the last decade arguing the merits of either approach."

Update: 08/19 23:49 GMT by KD : Several readers have pointed out that this story in fact did not go unnoticed.
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Judge Rules Man Cannot Be Forced To Decrypt HD

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  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:28PM (#24665437) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    "thousands of images of adult pornography and animation depicting adult and child pornography."

    I know that TFA is about encryption and the rights to passwords but I think the phrase above is far more interesting. That quote could be misleading, but what if the Border Enforcers didn't find any photographs or videos(hell, any evidence at all)of real human child exploitation?

    If they are able to legally get the key and crack the drive, and all they found was animation, then maybe they should just give him a warning and and call him a "perv"...especially if he has "thousands" of files and not a single one is "real".

    By the way, those of you who fantasize about your wife or girlfriend in a schoolgirl outfit are also pervs :)

    • by hkgroove (791170) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:30PM (#24665477) Homepage
      What does that make us who may have a girlfriend who dress in school girl outfits for us?
    • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:32PM (#24665489)

      Actually, child pornography is such a witchhunt that even animated child pornography is illegal. That's right, child porn which never involved a child can still get you sent to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for a long time.

      There are convoluted rationalizations for why this is so, but they are so insane that I will not bother to reproduce them here. Suffice it to say that society has collectively lost its mind when it comes to the idea of child pornography.

      • by vonmeth (656965) * on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:44PM (#24665657)
        This is incorrect if you are speaking of the United States.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashcroft_v._Free_Speech_Coalition [wikipedia.org]
        • by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:13PM (#24666057) Journal

          Yes, the law is that the image must of of a 'real' child for it to be child-porn. But last year I was reading an article where prosecutors were switching from having experts go on the stand to 'prove' that the images are real, to just saying that the jury is competent to decide if the image is real or not [even though everyone knows that CG images can be so realistic that it can be difficult/impossible for an expert in digital imagery to determine if it's 'real' or not]. So, basically prosecutors are going for jury-sympathy, that the guy is a perv and should be locked away, whether or not the image is CG. Not that I have a problem with this, as this is the kind of distinction that makes the problem worse, but it can also wind up dragging in 'artistic' images as well.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:38PM (#24666265)
            -That is correct. I saw a real underage girl dressed in a school uniform being raped by a tentacle alien.

            -So your honor, this proves aliens do exist and the government is covering it up!
        • by conlaw (983784) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:25PM (#24666151)
          However, following the Ashcroft decision, which was based on COPPA,* Congress passed the PROTECT Act,* which "prohibits offers to provide and requests to obtain child pornography. It targets not the underlying material, but the collateral speech introducing such material into the child-pornography distribution network."

          In a decision announced in May of this year, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who offered to trade obscene pictures of his toddler for similar pictures with a federal agent posing as a pedophile. United States v. Williams, S.Ct. case #06-694, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=06-694 [findlaw.com].

          *IMHO, our legislators seem to be more concerned with making up a memborable title (USA PATRIOT ACT, PROTECT, etc.) than dealing with the actual content of the laws.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:46PM (#24665701)

        Naah. Society has lost it's mind when it comes to children, period. There's some sort of popular myth that started with the Baby Boomer generation that children need to be protected from everything. I'm not saying that sexual abuse of a child is ever right, but I'm saying that we have come to hold this purported "innocence" as sacrosanct, much to the detriment of society in general, as we have raised a generation of kids unable to deal with even getting a job on their own [msn.com]. The sooner we realize that kids don't need coddled, and need to be educated, this shit will go away by itself for a large part.

        I'd love to post this signed in, but I'm afraid that in the current climate, people will start hunting me down as some kind of pedophile (which is the new version of the word "witch", "commie", or "fag", depending on what era you're from). An unassailable accusation that you have no hope in hell of defending yourself against, even if there is no truth to it.

        • by Smauler (915644) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:13PM (#24666051)

          You're a true anonymous coward. I'm perfectly happy saying that the entire system is completely screwed, and I'll be damned if I'm going to become anonymous.

          An example of the absolutely screwed up laws in the UK : It is perfectly legal for anyone to screw a 16 year old girl, any way they want. However, if after they banged her every which way, they drew a picture of her naked and gave it to her, they can be done for distributing child pornography and put away for god knows how many years. I'm perfectly happy to say that this is fucked up legislation, and if you're not happy to come out and say that publically, then you're part of the problem.

          Before you say this could never happen, something like this did happen somewhere in the US (I don't remember any exact details). It was a state where the age of consent was 16, and two 17 year old partners got busted for sending naked images of _themselves_ to each other. They got community service and put on the sexual offenders register for life. This is a farce, and the more people who say it is a farce, the quicker it will get fixed.

          • by mcpkaaos (449561) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:26PM (#24666161)
            Free expression depends upon one's ability to remain anonymous. Even the bravest individual will hold back when their identity is known or potentially discoverable.

            Please don't be so quick to judge someone simply because you are comfortable revealing your identity (Mr. Smauler? S. Mauler?) while they are not.
            • by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw@@@chebucto...ns...ca> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @09:12PM (#24667155) Homepage
              The current legitimate requirement for anonymity today is an indication that <em>we don't have free expression</em>. Or to put thing another way, if you can think of a system where there is legitimate need for anonymity, then that system isn't totally free.
              • by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @12:05AM (#24668579)

                Or to put thing another way, if you can think of a system where there is legitimate need for anonymity, then that system isn't totally free

                A system remains free as long as anonymity and privacy are considered sacrosanct. Anonymity itself is quite useful in a society. Voting, juries, and whistleblowing are examples of legitimate uses of anonymity in a society. Privacy, although you did not bring it up, is also quite important.

                There is a difference between free expression of ideas and the legitimate fear of reprisal by those more powerful. You are conflating the legal protections governing free expression with the liabilities of expressing some truth or opinion that have nothing to do with any legal systems. A system can have strong legal guarantees of free expression. Such a system could be considered to have more freedoms than others. However, in such a "free" system that also has no provisions for anonymity (or specifically against anonymity), there could be serious risks depending on just what you are expressing. These risks are demonstrably detrimental to a society when they suppress the dissemination of information that may be conflict with the interests of those in positions of power.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gregbot9000 (1293772)
          The coddled child problem seems to fix itself IMHO. I lived in a house with a kid, 19, just out too college and had a room rented by his parents. Fucker couldn't even do laundry. Couldn't figure out a bus route, couldn't make basic food like eggs or sandwich. He literally FAILED college because he wasn't capable of the most basic self reliance.

          These kids are Fail. how well will someone preform at their job if every time they have a problem they call mommy? they don't. I know so many of these manchilds. Th
      • by Gregg M (2076) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:54PM (#24665833) Homepage

        Actually, child pornography is such a witchhunt that even animated child pornography is illegal.

        Actually, It's not. Here's a quote from Wikipedia's listing under Child pornography [wikipedia.org].

        Child pornography may be simulated by the use of computers[13] or adults made to look like children.[14] For simulated child pornography that is produced without the involvement of children, there is some controversy regarding whether or not such simulated child pornography is abusive to children. The legal status of simulated or "virtual" child pornography varies around the world; for example, it is legal in the United States, it is illegal in the European Union, and in Australia its legal status is unclear and so far untested in the courts.

        • by rundgren (550942) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:07PM (#24665995) Homepage
          The European Union does not have a common penal code. So Wikipedia is sort of misleading on this point.. The only example in the article is Germany, and Germany!=EU.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          Well the question brings up what is the age of the cartoon character. It could be stated it is an adult representation of a child character or what is the represented age of the character. Really are lawyers going to go into fiction cannon to prove the age of a character. As well can you prove the viewer knows enough about cannon to realize it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by QCompson (675963)

          Actually, It's not. Here's a quote from Wikipedia's listing under Child pornography.

          Well thank heavens you quoted from such a reputable source. Here's another quote from Wikipedia about the PROTECT Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protect_Act [wikipedia.org]), which was passed by Congress in 2003 and is still in effect:

          "Prohibits drawings, sculptures, and pictures of such drawings and sculptures depicting minors in actions or situations that meet the Miller test of being obscene, OR are engaged in sex acts that are deemed to meet the same obscene condition....

          The prohibitions against illustrations

          • No, not because he agrees with me. Because he knows something all these other people apparently don't; that the laws in the US have changed, and while it was true that it was not previously illegal, it has been since 2003.

            I'll be man enough to admit that I thought it had been illegal for much longer, and so the various "you're wrong" responses to my post were also quite enlightening, but they seem to have missed this crucial change in American law.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:45PM (#24665683)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_Act_of_2003 [wikipedia.org]

      I knew that I read this somewhere... Prohibits computer-generated child pornography when "(B) such visual depiction is a computer image or computer-generated image that is, or appears virtually indistinguishable from that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; (as amended by 1466A for Section 2256(8)(B) of title 18, United States Code).

    • by Aaron England (681534) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:49PM (#24665749)
      The prohibition of virtual child pornography was overturned in the United States with Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (2002). It is still illegal in the European Union however.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:54PM (#24665841)

      By the way, those of you who fantasize about your wife or girlfriend in a schoolgirl outfit are also pervs

      What I wear while fantasizing about my wife is none of your concern.

    • by dat cwazy wabbit (1147827) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:01PM (#24665935)
      It's the Catholic Church and other organizations that dress up young girls in such hot outfits who are sick.
    • In parts of eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century it was common for >14 year old girls to be married off to any financially stable (read older) man. The rationale behind it was simple, women just didn't live very long and to keep families from dying out the female reproductive cycle had to start ASAP (as soon a biologically possible). Clearly sociological/cultural norms mean more than some Bible-toting tub-thumper's, TV evangelist pseudo-moralizing looking for some free press.

      My grandmother

  • of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by hamburger lady (218108) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:29PM (#24665461)

    Border guards testify that they saw child pornography on the defendant's laptop when the PC was on

    wow, so cops testify that it's true? that's good enough for me!

    • Re:of course (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gen-GNU (36980) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:44PM (#24665669)

      I also doubt that a "conviction is still likely", unless they have some other material to show. Convictions in these cases are almost always due to the shock value created by showing the dirty films and pictures to the jury. If they cannot recover the images and movies, they will actually have to cover their burden of proof a lot more than prosecutors are used to in this case, and the defense might actually have a shot.

      If the jury actually thinks about the fact that the only evidence is what some cops say they saw, but can't prove. If the prosecution somehow gets to show "similar images" or some such nonsense, the defense is hosed.

    • Re:of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:06PM (#24665983)
      If it's not true, then the defendant can just turn around and offer the keys to the volume and get the cops in trouble for perjury. I doubt he's innocent, but if he is this could be one of the most satisfying court cases in the history of geekdom. Defending your right to encryption and then catching two police in a blatant lie? Priceless!
      • Re:of course (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:45PM (#24666991) Homepage

        Sounds good, but I think the estimate was that there's at least 10,000 federal laws -- and so no single person could possibly know them all.

        So while the police are combing through your hard drive, and while they don't find any child pornography, they DO find a picture of you holding a baby bird -- and it turns out that some 1856 law made illegal to handle this type of bird without a permit. And here's evidence of you violating the law.

        Or, perhaps they don't find any child pornography ... until they scan every sector on the disk and find some thumbnail of some picture of a naked 8 year old girl that was deleted 18 months ago. If they'd dug deeper, they might have learned that that was from getting redirected to a child pornography site in Romania by some typo-squatter, which you immediately closed and never visited again -- but the DA is up for re-election, and he doesn't want to give up this new feather in his cap, the child pornographer he just took off the street. He doesn't care that you're innocent, only that you're helping prove that he's tough on child pornography.

        No, cops and vampires are best not invited into your home, or your hard drives. Even if proving perjury is `priceless'. (And really, it wouldn't prove perjury. The cop would just say `I guess I was mistaken. My bad.' Though he probably wouldn't even say that.)

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:31PM (#24665485) Homepage Journal

    Turn *off* your laptop before going through customs.
    Turn off the GRUB menu and change the default key combination to have it come up.
    Have a WinXP install to boot up into and set it as the default boot option.

    Strong cryptography is lovely but it is not for idiots.

  • by BlackCreek (1004083) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:33PM (#24665505)
    The problem with this case is that it is the textbook example of the think about the children argument to bypass regular civil rights. As such it could just as well end up being used to throw (more) smoke at the public understanding of the merits of being entitled to privacy.

    In any case, it is good to see judges in the US (or anywhere else) making into the news for taking the right stand regarding governmental search limits.

  • by clonehappy (655530) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:34PM (#24665515)
    Here, we have a story which is not only over 8 months old, but is also a dupe [slashdot.org]. That has to be some kind of a record.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PacketShaper (917017)

      Here, we have a story which is not only over 8 months old, but is also a dupe [slashdot.org]. That has to be some kind of a record.

      You must be new here...

  • Uh-Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:34PM (#24665527) Journal
    From TFA :"Orin Kerr, a former Justice Department prosecutor who's now a law professor at George Washington University, shares this view. Kerr acknowledges that it's a tough call, but says, "I tend to think Judge Niedermeier was wrong given the specific facts of this case." "

    The phrase "given the specific facts of this case" gives me chills in this context. As we all know, kiddie porn is, along with terrorism and drugs, one of the three Prime Evils of American jurisprudence and public opinion, the unholy trinity that justify any and all measures in their eradication.

    In short: Why, why does our potential landmark 5th amendment case have to be a kiddie porn case? I'm no fan of child pornography; but it would be an absolute disaster if, thanks to the vociferous moral condemnation that such a case always involved, we end up setting a dangerous precedent concerning the 5th amendment and crypto keys/passwords.

    I think it involves no hyperbole to say that the crypto key issue is probably the most important 5th amendment related question that technology has yet raised(mindreading tech will probably top it, when it becomes available). I'd hate to see this be yet another decision chiseling away at our constitution, just because some punk likes kiddie porn.
    • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:42PM (#24665629) Homepage Journal

      Because if your rights and freedoms do not stand up when applied to the worst of the worst then they most likely won't stand up when applied to you.

    • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:4, Funny)

      by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:44PM (#24665663)

      Don't you remember 9/11, when terrorists flew child porn into the WTC?

      For shame, fuzzyfuzzyfungus. For shame.

    • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:4, Informative)

      by jhantin (252660) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:48PM (#24665745)

      This is exactly why the ACLU gets so much hate: they have to go to bat for civil liberties to try to prevent bad precedent, even though public opinion on the case is more like "Due process? Just lynch them!"

      That this happens so often leads me to believe that a number of prosecutors pick these opportunities specifically to force judges to choose between civil liberties and looking like they support the Prime Evils.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:52PM (#24666437) Journal

      In short: Why, why does our potential landmark 5th amendment case have to be a kiddie porn case?

      Because the prosecutors ALWAYS go after the least-sympathetic scumbag they can find (or create the appearance of) when trying to establish a break-the-bill-of-rights precedent.

      In the case of trying to clamp down on new forms of speech, press, or association this is USUALLY a child pornography or child molestation case.

      Once they've got the precedent in place they can go after the real target: Anybody they don't like.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcelrath (8027)

      Reasonable question, I'll let people more eloquent than I answer:

      "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." - Noam Chomsky

      "You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." - Abbie Hoffman

      "First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Cat

    • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daoine_sidhe (619572) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @11:09PM (#24668103)

      Did you really think it would be about anything else? The "justice" machine has been looking for decades for precedent setting cases to overturn or sidestep the constitutional protections we have. One at a time, they fall like dominoes.

      Our nation's preoccupation with child pornography is greater, perhaps, then even our irrational fear of terrorists. Of course it's going to be child pornography. If not this guy, then someone else, truth of the matter not withstanding.

      Those of us who can think, who read, understand that most child sexual abuse comes from the people they know and trust (family, family friends, etc.), not kiddy porn rings or myspace predators. This is about power, pure unadulterated power, and nothing else.

      It's getting to the point, at least for me, where I automatically disbelieve and distrust every law enforcement official on every single statement they make. I view them all as worthless scum first, and leave it up to them to prove otherwise. Some of them even have.

      If any of you out there are or have been police officers, and feel insulted, let me ask you: How many people have you pulled over and issued tickets (sometimes in the hundreds of dollars)? And how many times have you let another police cruiser get away with speeding, reckless driving, rolling stops, failure to signal, etc.? I'm not talking about when they are going lights-and-sirens, I mean when they're out 'cruising'. Yeah, thought so. Until the legal system actually starts policing itself (hah!) we're just going to see them continue hand in hand, doing the government's dirty work and getting away with whatever the fuck they want to.

      • Re:Uh-Oh (Score:5, Informative)

        by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @12:58AM (#24668915)
        It's getting to the point, at least for me, where I automatically disbelieve and distrust every law enforcement official on every single statement they make. I view them all as worthless scum first, and leave it up to them to prove otherwise.

        A late uncle of mine who served as a U.S. Marshal for many, many years once told me basically the same thing.
  • Strange (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:37PM (#24665557)

    IANAL, but if my memory serves me correctly, Customs and "border guards"aren't constrained by the same laws that other law enforcement is. That's why they can search your vehicle, personal effects, body cavities, etc. when you enter the country without a warrant.

    I have a constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures once inside the United States, but not while entering it. The judges decision sounds nice, but I don't think it will stand.

    • Re:Strange (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:42PM (#24665631)

      That's why they could look at it in the first place.

      But they failed to gather evidence when they had the chance. And now he's back in the country, subject to all the regular protections. If they had copied the unencrypted contents of his hard drive previously they would be able to use that evidence in court, but they can't force him to decrypt its contents now just because they happened to have access to it when he crossed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blueg3 (192743)

      You're thinking of the fourth amendment. This is the fifth amendment, under which you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by peektwice (726616)
      So, if I enter the country without a warrant, I can expect to be violated in various cavities. ewwww...
    • Re:Strange (Score:4, Funny)

      by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hoggerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:59PM (#24665897) Journal

      Customs and "border guards" [...] can search your vehicle, personal effects, body cavities, etc. when you enter the country without a warrant.

      Okay, I don't want my nether hole searched next time I enter the US. Where do I apply for the warrant???

      (Some 12 years ago, I crossed into the US through a very remote border post in Maine, and I was wearing a fanny pack that one customs agent wanted to search. So I handed it to him, and he ran his finger through the small change with exactly the same look of a pervert who sifts through a pile of women underwear. Really creepy).

    • > I have a constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures once inside the United
      > States, but not while entering it. The judges decision sounds nice, but I don't think it will stand.

      It's worse. I fail to understand how a court can't order the asshole to produce the data. We have protection against unreasonable search. We have a right against self incrimination. But neither apply here. Nobody is going to argue that a judge can't issue an order for you to cough up documents wh

      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @08:03PM (#24666555) Journal

        I fail to understand how a court can't order the asshole to produce the data.

        Because the data is in his head, not on a physical document. If he had written it down the court could order him to hand over the hardcopy. But if they could order him to divulge the contents of his memory to be used as evidence against him they could do it, not just for passwords, but for anything else. (Like: "Did you kill Jane Doe?") The famous part of the 5th Amendment expressly prohibits that.

        What would "enforcing" such an order consist of? Torture. That's WHY it's prohibited.

        This case is going to come down to two sworn officers asserting they saw kiddie porn on exhibit A, the laptop. Almost any jury is going to be willing to accept that as proof beyond a reasonable doubt considering the defense could rebutt by simply unlocking the laptop and proving their innocence.

        It's not up to the defendant in a criminal case to prove his innocence. It's up to the prosecution to prove his guilt. Are the officers such experts in video synthesis and manipulation that they can determine, at a glance, that the images were of actual children? No? Tough luck. If that's all they have I'd expect the judge to direct the verdict or throw it out for lack of evidence.

      • by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday August 20, 2008 @01:05AM (#24668953)
        I fail to understand how a court can't order the asshole to produce the data.

        They can and they did. They have physical custody of the hard disk on the laptop, and it's been examined with a fine-toothed comb. They've had the data to do whatever they want with it. The fact that the data is not in a form useful to the government's case is not the defendant's problem. Compelling the defendant to provide testimony to *make* it useful to the government is a breach of his Fifth Amendment rights.
  • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:37PM (#24665563) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, are the editors asleep?

    This story [slashdot.org] from last December had the exact same article. This was noted in the firehose entry [slashdot.org], and somehow this still got posted. I thought that kind of thing was a major purpose of the firehose?

    WTF

  • TrueCrypt Hidden OS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:38PM (#24665573)

    Plug for TrueCrypt 6.0's Hidden OS feature. This allow one to give a password (not the "real" password) and have the system boot to a hidden OS which is not your real installation. Moreover, there is no way to prove the "real" OS exists. http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=hidden-operating-system

  • Backdoors? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cillian (1003268) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:38PM (#24665581) Homepage
    Well, the fact that "they"'ve gone to all this trouble, and have fallen flat on their faces suggests there really aren't any backdoors in PGP at least, or that they aren't open to people at that level, which is nice.
    • Re:Backdoors? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrami (664567) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:50PM (#24665771) Homepage

      or that they aren't open to people at that level

      If someone like the NSA knew how, I doubt they would let that information leak without a really, really good reason. And "think of the children" doesn't count in that arena.

      which is nice.

      At least, it's good to know. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:42PM (#24665625)

    Period. End of discussion. They cannot compel your testimony. Not one word can they force you to utter. It is your choice to stand mute and that cannot be used against you.

    Anything more than this, compelling you to utter even a single syllable in order to prove your own innocence or guilt, and we don't live in the land of the free anymore.

  • by level4 (1002199) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @06:46PM (#24665697)

    I know a lot of people who were getting very nervous about even *visiting* the USA. Think they're overreacting and melodramatic? Think again - all we hear are stories of how foreigners, with no rights, detained by customs, forced to incriminate themselves, forced to give up encryption keys on threat of indefinite detention in stateless legal no-mans-land .. how reasonable it is to worry about it all *that* much is questionable but it's undeniably been a bad trend for a long time.

    This, though - an unequivocal restoration of the right to silence, at a border no less - is a *very* welcome development. Let's hope it's the first in a long run of "restoration" decisions as the pendulum swings back from the terrorism bubble.

    Really happy to see this. I'm not American, but I was taking no joy whatsoever in watching the previous slide. I'm feeling pretty joyful to see this kind of thing, though - separation of powers worked in the end!

    Here's to a few more key decisions like this. Go USA.

  • by TheTempest (99802) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:30PM (#24666201)

    So what if I made my pass phrase the confession to some minor crime and then confessed the fact? Wouldn't that make it a more clear-cut fifth amendment issue as revealing my pass-phrase would be directly incriminating?

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