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Judge: Give Up HD Password. Constitutional?  
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13508 posts, RR: 62
Posted (2 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 1785 times:
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http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news...-to-give-up-password-to-hard-drive

Fair-use excerpt:

A federal judge has ruled that a Colorado woman, charged in a mortgage scam case, must turn over the password needed to decrypt her hard drive so that police can view the files on it.

Ramona Fricosu was given until Feb. 21 to comply with the order by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. The judge said Fricosu's defense — the Fifth Amendment's right against self-incrimination — did not apply in the case, in which she is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.



Do you agree with the judge's ruling, or not? Do you see a Fifth Amendment issue here?

I can see both sides to the argument, however once all is said and done her password is part of the contents of her mind. If the encryption could be broken by a physical key, the court's order wouldn't be an issue. But since the encryption can only be unlocked by using the contents of her mind, I'd imagine that compulsion would be unconstitutional.

[Edited 2012-01-25 01:22:13]


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13029 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 1772 times:

Probably yes. Current law as to discovery in criminal and civil matters does require one to turn over all documents including in electronic form which would include her computer. I would bet that the SCOTUS would uphold this judge's decision unanimously.

If all her financial records were on paper and she had them in her possession, she would have to give them up or face contempt of court and go to jail for a while until she gave up or a grand jury term ran out. If she had a safe with a combination lock requiring number and pattern of turning the wheel to unlock, it would probably have to be given. Police all the time get into computers and search without a password to obtain info on their hard drives to arrest and prosecute cases (like with child porn).


User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 11 hours ago) and read 1725 times:
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Lbtewr-Pardon my ignrorance, but I thought Discovery was only a one way street, the prosecution has to give the defense everything it has but the defense isn't compelled to give the prosecution anything. I thought i remembered Johnny Cochrane saying something to the prosecution during the OJ Simpson trial like "Sorry, you can't look inside my briefcase." I assumed that was a reference to the prosecution not having a right of discovery.

I can't help but wonder, if she were to give the password to her defense attorney, could the defense attorney then refuse to divulge it to the court on the grounds of attorney client privilege? Or could said defense attorney propose to the judge that said laptop be examined by an independent expert who could then testify to the judge as to whether they believe any of the documents on the laptop might be considered incriminating, in which case they're protected by the fifth amendment.

Anyway we look at it, the question of whether the contents of an electronic device fall under fifth amendment protection might be an interesting one for the supreme court to consider.



Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2293 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 1698 times:

Many people commented on this as being either a Fourth or a Fifth Amendment issue.

To be a 4th Amendment issue, the police needed to have a search and seizure warrant for the laptops content. Such a warrant must be specific - but until the file (or harddisk) is decrypted, the police can't know what they are searching for. So it may very well be a case of "fishing for evidence".

If it is a 5th Amendment issue, it is relevant whether giving the password - or producing a decrypted version of the file (or harddisk) would be self-incriminating. She would have to prove that it is self-incriminating. Without releasing the password or the decrypted file, only she can tell.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 1):
If all her financial records were on paper and she had them in her possession, she would have to give them up or face contempt of court and go to jail for a while until she gave up or a grand jury term ran out.

The huge difference is that you can order somebody to release physical evidence. But short of torturing the person, you can not force anybody to give evidence from his or her own mind.

It's an interesting question whether you could be punished for destroying evidence if you encrypt data that incriminates yourself... 
Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 2):
I can't help but wonder, if she were to give the password to her defense attorney, could the defense attorney then refuse to divulge it to the court on the grounds of attorney client privilege?

I don't know U.S. legalese that good, but I thought that only witnesses to a crime had a duty to give testimony. If I would receive her password, I would refuse testimony on the grounds that I haven't witnessed any wrongdoing.

It's a really interesting case. I wonder how it will turn out. I hope that the SCOTUS will bolster 4th and 5th amendment rights and discharge her.


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9149 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 9 hours ago) and read 1679 times:

I am surprised that in the US people have to cooperate with the justice to incrimnate themselves.

In Germany, you can even lie to a judge, to the state attorney and the police anyhow. THEY have to prove you are guilty, you have the right not to incriminate yourselve. Even spouses and children cannot be forced.



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User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 8 hours ago) and read 1662 times:

This sounds incredibly unconstitutional, c'mon DA's hire anonymous to hack the HD at least.

What is the penalty for telling the judge to get stuffed (contempt of court I think) vs. the penalty for actually admitting to a fraud? If they can't prove guilt with the available evidence then tough on them they are trying a case they have no business trying the case.

This is almost like demanding (If we could do this) to hook up OJ's brain to a memory scanner to show his memory of where he was at the time when said people were killed.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
To be a 4th Amendment issue, the police needed to have a search and seizure warrant for the laptops content. Such a warrant must be specific - but until the file (or harddisk) is decrypted, the police can't know what they are searching for. So it may very well be a case of "fishing for evidence".

It sounds like that, they assume the evidence is there but don't know what they are looking for. She should have to turn over the computer and HD and nothing more if they can't get what they need with the physical evidence tough bananas for the prosecution.



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User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12333 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 8 hours ago) and read 1642 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 5):
c'mon DA's hire anonymous to hack the HD at least.

The problem with cases like this will be that it will drive law enforcement will use the system to pressure commercial vendors to provide back doors into their products, and as we see via things like the Patriot Act, government usually gets its way when it comes to privacy issues.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 5):
What is the penalty for telling the judge to get stuffed (contempt of court I think) vs. the penalty for actually admitting to a fraud? If they can't prove guilt with the available evidence then tough on them they are trying a case they have no business trying the case.

I suppose the accused could say they forgot the password, or it was written on a piece of paper that I burned, etc.

I'm glad the case is being fought, but I'm afraid the outcome in today's climate will be yet another loss of personal freedom.



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User currently offlinepoLOT From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2122 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 8 hours ago) and read 1627 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
I am surprised that in the US people have to cooperate with the justice to incrimnate themselves.

In Germany, you can even lie to a judge, to the state attorney and the police anyhow. THEY have to prove you are guilty, you have the right not to incriminate yourselve. Even spouses and children cannot be forced.

You can do the same in the US (assuming when lying you are not under oath). That is what the 5th amendment is all about.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7569 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
To be a 4th Amendment issue, the police needed to have a search and seizure warrant for the laptops content. Such a warrant must be specific - but until the file (or harddisk) is decrypted, the police can't know what they are searching for. So it may very well be a case of "fishing for evidence".

This is no different from police seizing a file cabinet, looking for a specific document(s). While the warrant has to list evidence of a crime and seek documents / files to support that evidence - the warrant doesn't have to describe the document/ file in detail which is suspected to exist.

That is not fishing for evidence.

There is NO requirement for the person under investigation to tell the police that other file cabinets of documents (or hard drives) exist. The police have to find that they exist and their location under normal rules of evidence.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
but I thought that only witnesses to a crime had a duty to give testimony. If I would receive her password, I would refuse testimony on the grounds that I haven't witnessed any wrongdoing.

A witness has to answer questions truthfully. The witness is not allowed to decide if they saw or did not see criminal behavior. If you received her password and lied - that is perjury and can carry criminal penalties greater than the original crime in some cases.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
In Germany, you can even lie to a judge, to the state attorney and the police anyhow.

In the United States you can be convicted of Obstruction of Justice for lying to any of those. Martha Stewart was sent to federal prison for saying she did nothing wrong. She was not convicted of any insider trading or other financial crime. Only for telling federal investigators she was innocent and did nothing wrong. People go to jail every year because they lie to investigators. The prosecutors cannot prove the crime occured, but they can prove the suspect lied to inhibit the investigation.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
If it is a 5th Amendment issue, it is relevant whether giving the password - or producing a decrypted version of the file (or harddisk) would be self-incriminating. She would have to prove that it is self-incriminating. Without releasing the password or the decrypted file, only she can tell.

This gets very case specific. We probably don't have enough details to know if this would be a 5th amendment issue, or not.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 5):
What is the penalty for telling the judge to get stuffed (contempt of court I think)

She would likely be convicted of obstruction of justice and sentenced to a couple years, probably serving about 6 months.

Here is another thing - the prosecution could give her exemption from any crime discovered by evidence found on the hard drive, but use what is found on the hard drive as evidence agianst her 'co-conspirators'. In that instance, the 5th Amendment claim is not valid.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9149 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

... and under oath yuo simply don't answer the question. So what is this all about, if the 5th amendment gives you the right?

If they can't hack a password, tough luck.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11207 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1608 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Thread starter):
Do you see a Fifth Amendment issue here?

I don't think I do, but I recognize the gray area. The Fifth Amendment means you cannot be forced to TESTIFY against yourself. It does not give you the right to block the admission of evidence.

The reason it may be gray is that it is not that different from the state demanding you tell them who has incriminating knowledge against you. However, it is also not that different from searching a suspect's house for incriminating evidence. Obviously, with a search warrant, you can search a suspect's house. I would conclude that with a search warrant, you can search a person's computer.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):
In Germany, you can even lie to a judge

Really? That is quite surprising if true. Are you sure it's not like in the US, where you cannot be forced to testify against yourself, but if you do, you are sworn to tell the truth? Lying under oath is still lying under oath.



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User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1206 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1593 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 1):
If she had a safe with a combination lock requiring number and pattern of turning the wheel to unlock, it would probably have to be given.

Actually, I believe this might not be true. I'm still trying to find out, but from what I know, if the key is physical, it has to be handed over as evidence. If its non-physical (i.e. a combo lock), it cannot be forced to be "handed over", as there is no physical "it" that has to be handed over.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 1):
Police all the time get into computers and search without a password to obtain info on their hard drives to arrest and prosecute cases

And as they have tried on this computer. They just have not been able to get in.


In my opinion (and I work with computer forensics people every day and work for a large computer information security company - so take what I say with a grain of salt as I'm a tech guy and not a lawyer), this comes down to two differences between a fire-safe or a lockbox and an encrypted computer.

1) The "key" to get into the locked safe can be required to be given up.

2) If the key cannot be given up, for whatever reason, LEOs can break in to the safe, pick the lock, drill the hinges off, contact the manufacturer for a master key, etc.

So, this, in my opinion, parallels a "what if" scenario of you building an impenetrable safe and losing the key. Law enforcement is unable to break in to the safe... and there is no physical key. What do you do?

All of that said, this defendant appears to be smarter than a few others that have thought using encryption was a good idea. Most people use the same password for their encryption as they use to their gmail account or other accounts. A subpoena to Google and a few days of cracking a password hash later, they have the password. Or, they search the defendant's wallet and... hey look, there's the password!

Better yet, the encryption should be done in such a way that it appears that there is no encrypted data on the hard drive... just a bunch of random data.

[Edited 2012-01-25 06:41:17]


The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7569 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1593 times:

Quoting poLOT (Reply 7):
You can do the same in the US (assuming when lying you are not under oath). That is what the 5th amendment is all about.

Incorrect.

You can refuse to answer on the grounds that the answer might tend to incriminate you. At that point you stop answering any and all questions unless a judge says that specific question/ answer cannot be used against you.

However, you cannot give lies or false information for an answer. That is a crime.


User currently offlinedreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 1592 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Thread starter):
I can see both sides to the argument, however once all is said and done her password is part of the contents of her mind. If the encryption could be broken by a physical key, the court's order wouldn't be an issue. But since the encryption can only be unlocked by using the contents of her mind, I'd imagine that compulsion would be unconstitutional.

I think the situation is very clear. The investigators have every right to prod and poke through the computer, and make every attempt to crack through the encryption. But she has the right to remain silent. This is precisely why the 5th amendment was written - the investigators have to be able to prove her guilt without her help (aka without a confession)

Oh, and by the way, a legitimate investigation would have no problem getting a bypass code from the provider of the encryption software, if it is American. As I understand it, the NSA has those codes and can use them to decrypt anything encrypted by Norton or other security software. I suppose a court order to the software company should provide it.

The lesson - get your encryption software from a company that has nothing to do with the US.

[Edited 2012-01-25 06:45:53]

[Edited 2012-01-25 06:46:37]


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11207 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 1561 times:

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
Oh, and by the way, a legitimate investigation would have no problem getting a bypass code from the provider of the encryption software, if it is American. As I understand it, the NSA has those codes and can use them to decrypt anything encrypted by Norton or other security software. I suppose a court order to the software company should provide it.

The lesson - get your encryption software from a company that has nothing to do with the US.

I'm gonna have to call SOURCE on that one.



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User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9149 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 1559 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 8):
In the United States you can be convicted of Obstruction of Justice for lying to any of those. Martha Stewart was sent to federal prison for saying she did nothing wrong.

That may have even been her true belief. I don't want to divert this thread ow to another topic, but I can imagine a situation from my field of business where US district attourneys fabricated allegations which do not hold up in reality because they are day to day business, absolutely legal.

So simply not answering any questions which might incriminate yourself could in theorya also be called "obstruction of justice" . At the end of the day this is a justic esystem whoich is not just.

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
The lesson - get your encryption software from a company that has nothing to do with the US.

Most important for all not living in the USA - don't do any business there and not with US companies either. Avoid the country like the plague.

Diclaimer - I still like the USA, but the justice system has gone bananas. People get indicted and prosecuted for stuff that would not even raise an eyebrow here.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11207 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 1550 times:

From the opinion:

The Fifth Amendment provides that “[n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself.” U.S. CONST. Amend. V. Nevertheless,
“the Fifth Amendment does not independently proscribe the compelled production of
every sort of incriminating evidence.” Fisher v. United States, 425 U.S. 391, 408, 96
S.Ct. 1569, 1579, 48 L.Ed.2d 39 (1976). Instead, “the privilege protects a person only
against being incriminated by his own compelled testimonial communications.” Id., 96
S.Ct. at 1580.


Although the privilege applies typically to verbal or written communications, an
act that implicitly communicates a statement of fact may be within the purview of the
privilege as well. United States v. Hubbell, 530 U.S. 27, 36, 120 S.Ct. 2037, 2043 ,
147 L.Ed.2d 24 (2000); Doe v. United States, 487 U.S. 201, 209, 108 S.Ct. 2341,
2347, 101 L.Ed.2d 184 (1988) (Doe II). More specifically in the context of this case,
“[a]lthough the contents of a document may not be privileged, the act of producing the
document may be.” United States v. Doe, 465 U.S. 605, 612, 104 S.Ct. 1242, 1242,
79 L.Ed.2d 552 (1984) (Doe I). Production itself acknowledges that the document
exists, that it is in the possession or control of the producer, and that it is authentic.
Hubbell, 120 S.Ct. at 2043.

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2012/01/decrypt.pdf


Quoting PanHAM (Reply 15):
So simply not answering any questions which might incriminate yourself could in theorya also be called "obstruction of justice"

This is not true. Not answering questions that may incriminate yourself is the VERY protection of the fifth amendment.

Obstruction of justice comes in when you refuse to cooperate with (or actively work against) an investigation that cannot result in your conviction. (I.e., if you are granted immunity, you no longer have fifth amendment protections, and must cooperate.)

[Edited 2012-01-25 07:45:09]


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User currently offlineKingairTA From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 458 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

Why do people insist that electronic data has to be treated differently then data on paper?

User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2293 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

Quoting KingairTA (Reply 17):

We don't treat it differently. In either case, you don't have to help the prosecutor convict yourself. Just stand aside and watch.

Either the cops get the incriminating information on paper by using a blowtorch on your safe.

Or they try their damnedest to decrypt your files.



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1206 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1521 times:

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
Oh, and by the way, a legitimate investigation would have no problem getting a bypass code from the provider of the encryption software, if it is American. As I understand it, the NSA has those codes and can use them to decrypt anything encrypted by Norton or other security software. I suppose a court order to the software company should provide it.

The lesson - get your encryption software from a company that has nothing to do with the US.

Sorry, but that's BS. Almost all of these software suites use encryption algorithms that were not developed by that company; for instance AES, twofish, blowfish, serpent, etc. The only possibility is if the keys are stored on the hard drive and 'encrypted' using a password, and stored twice; once using the user's password and once using the "bypass code". Of course, since most encryption setups use PKI and in some cases smart cards, which itself contains the keys, there's no possibility for a "bypass code".



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11207 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1509 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 18):
We don't treat it differently. In either case, you don't have to help the prosecutor convict yourself. Just stand aside and watch.

But if someone gets a search warrant for your house, you can't board it up and prevent their entry.

The question is, do you have to give them the keys, or otherwise let them in. I think the answer is yes!



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User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1206 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 20):
The question is, do you have to give them the keys, or otherwise let them in. I think the answer is yes!

But the difference is, if you board it up and prevent entry, they force their way in, so it is pointless for you to do so.

They cannot force their way in to a computer... so it becomes reasonable for you to effectively board your computer up and prevent their entry. The law just doesn't know how to handle it right now.

We might be arguing the same point... but I'm thinking you're saying that the password for the computer must be turned over, since physical keys must be turned over to a house.



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineredflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4313 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
I suppose the accused could say they forgot the password, or it was written on a piece of paper that I burned, etc.

My thoughts exactly and I hope Ramona Fricosu will come up with that very excuse.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
I'm glad the case is being fought, but I'm afraid the outcome in today's climate will be yet another loss of personal freedom.

This is total bullshit on the part of law enforcement. If I were in her shoes I'd go to jail before I'd give up a password. If they want access to the hard drive they can figure out how to do it. If they want access to my house and they have a warrant, I doubt they'd ask me for the key (if they did I'd tell them to go screw themselves) and they would just figure out how to enter, such as breaking the locks on the door.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11207 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 21):
but I'm thinking you're saying that the password for the computer must be turned over, since physical keys must be turned over to a house.

That is the point that I'm making, with the caveat that this is a novel legal issue, and I'm actually not 100% sure which way I'm going on it. Kind of thinking out loud, as it were.



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User currently onlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2293 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 4 hours ago) and read 1467 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 20):
But if someone gets a search warrant for your house, you can't board it up and prevent their entry.

The question is, do you have to give them the keys, or otherwise let them in. I think the answer is yes!

Well, I can board up my house. Or put my papers in a safe and throw the key away. But not after the court serves the search warrant. This would mean obstructing the search. The same could be held for data which I encrypt before the court serves such a warrant or a subpoena.


Wikipedia now has an article on the case itself, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Fricosu

There, I found this legal review http://www.jetlaw.org/wp-content/journal-pdfs/McGregor_online.pdf on the Supreme Court's stance on "private papers" and which analogies can be drawn to encrypted files in regard to the Fifth Amendment. I suggest reading it. It's only 29 pages.   

One interesting point is that when the court subpoenas physical files - like my personal notes on paper - I would have to hand them to the court. But a subpoena telling me to produce the decrypted file would ask me to create something which, at the time the subpoena was written, did not already exist. So a the analogy to papers locked into a safe is not that strong.

I'm reading the paper this evening... so... have a nice time!

Edit: Another thing that haunts this topic is that having to produce the password would be fine under the Fifth Amendment, because the password itself does not contain any self-incriminating information. So: Does the Fifth Amendment protect you from having to give self-incriminating evidence, or does it also protect you from producing "harmless" information, which, in the end, would incriminate yourself?



David

[Edited 2012-01-25 09:28:53]

[Edited 2012-01-25 09:30:20]


Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
25 mham001 : TrueCrypt. Hidden container. There you go again. You are confused. Basing your contempt on misinformation gleamed from whatever rumors you read. The
26 flyingturtle : Best evidence: The source code for TrueCrypt is freely available. Anybody can check it for any backdoors. The only attack possible is a side-channel
27 rfields5421 : Having once worked for a USN squadron assigned to the NSA for operational control - I would not bet upon the NSA not being able to read anything. How
28 Post contains images Maverick623 : They know what they are searching for: files related to this mortgage scam case. Trust me when I say that's plenty specific. Not at all. The burden i
29 mham001 : Agreed. But not through a backdoor. And like you and others mentioned, their processing power will not be wasted on something this low.
30 dreadnought : I said they could get it from the software company, not the NSA. A simple court order would do it. All those programs must have a back door, just lik
31 D L X : Having once worked for a USN squadron assigned to the NSA, you should know to keep your mouth shut about what you did there. That is completely diffe
32 Post contains links dreadnought : http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...Izj_WIAHsnmi0VGxARnucHlg1A&cad=rja http://www.wired.com/politics/securi...tters/2007/11/securitymatters
33 flyingturtle : No. Only in movies you see something like this: Password: _________ ACCESS DENIED. Password: __________ ACCESS DENIED. Override Password? Y/N ACCESS
34 Post contains links flyingturtle : Given your age, it's reasonable that the NSA had their advantage during these times. There was a small number of cryptography firms, and one of these
35 D L X : So, in Reply 13, you state that the NSA HAS codes to enter encrypted files through a back door, that Norton has this back door, and it would be easy
36 dreadnought : Torture me, kill me, but I shall NEVER surrender! Ok,ok, maybe there is no back door - at least none we know about. What if these stories were plante
37 Post contains images D L X : HAHAHA Charles, I don't think you've ever given me a laugh like that in what, 10 years on this site? Thank you.
38 Post contains images ALTF4 : I think we're all thinking aloud here I'm curious to know what LEOs would do if they came across a physical safe they could not open, and the defenda
39 dreadnought : You can always get into a physical safe - it might take you a few hours with an acetylene torch, but it's not that hard. A computer file is much hard
40 ALTF4 : Yes. The question is a "what if". I know it is just about pointless to ask such a question since the answer is "well, it can't happen". Now, while we
41 flyingturtle : The paper I read (as mentioned before) told a lot about the "private papers" legal practice supported by the Supreme Court. If you have voluntarily wr
42 tugger : From what I understand the police have the defendant on tape stating that incriminating evidence is on the computer. I will try to find more on it. C
43 Maverick623 : Well, in that case, the whole point is moot. She would have already given up her 5th Amendment rights, and now must produce access to the files in qu
44 Post contains links tugger : Here is what I found on it: http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/encryption/232500386 Of course we don't know the full conversation, we don't
45 Maverick623 : No, because the computer is not a person. However, reading your linked article, it appears that the judge fouled up the order. While she has the righ
46 flyingturtle : And what happens, for example, if I admitted to having evidence of a mortgage scam in the encrypted file, but it is still my secret that in the same
47 StarAC17 : Yes but like all crimes perjury and obstruction of justice have to be proved. I would say the same, I think it is a matter of what penalty is worse g
48 DeltaMD90 : Just because we are doing hypothetical, this one may actually pop up. What if a file was not encrypted but written in a code you made up? Surely you
49 Gingersnap : That's what a boot nuke is for.
50 D L X : Destruction of evidence is not looked upon with favor.
51 Maverick623 : Irrelevant. Since you have already incriminated yourself in one crime, you must divulge the contents. Not divulge the password, but provide an unencr
52 flyingturtle : Why is that so? Why can I be forced to incriminate myself in an unrelated crime? I could comply with the order and deliver the decrypted contents rel
53 canoecarrier : This is an interesting thread. So, as has been mentioned here before, what if she just says she forgot it? Does the prosecution have any recourse? It
54 Maverick623 : Then she gets convicted of destruction of evidence, contempt of court, and obstruction of justice, and probably spends more time in the slammer than
55 canoecarrier : I guess my point is that currently if I forget my password after a vacation and enter it wrongly after 3 attempts my login is locked on my work accou
56 tugger : Can't the authorities simply make a bit for bit copy of the drive to preserve it. Then if she does anything that destroys the original they could sim
57 BMI727 : I believe that is exactly how investigators go about looking at suspects' computers.
58 canoecarrier : But, as we've already discussed in this thread, if the key to unlocking the data is in her head and she says she "forgot the password"...it seems lik
59 flyingturtle : Yes. IT investigators NEVER work on the original drive. They make a bit-for-bit disk image beforehand, and use checksums (like MD5) to be sure that t
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