Home / Government / “Turn Over Your Encryption Password!”
Print Friendly and PDF

“Turn Over Your Encryption Password!”

Written by Gary North on February 28, 2012

The government does not have the right to force a criminal to say what he is thinking.

Does it have the right to enter his mind by way of his computer, which he encrypted? Isn’t this like a key to his memory?

The U.S. District Court in Denver says no. The tenth Court of Appeals refused to comment until after the defendant has complied with the government’s order.

Her lawyer says she may have forgotten the password.

Haven’t we all forgotten passwords?

Prosecutors had argued the password was like gaining a key to a lock box and other instances where a defendant signs documents to allow investigators to access overseas accounts.

But DuBois said that the order establishes “a very dangerous precedent that a person may be forced to assist in her prosecution in a way the law has not seen ever before.”

In a procedure agreed upon by DuBois and federal prosecutors, federal agents would meet Fricosu at a designated place with the laptop, which was seized during a search warrant. Then, the government will either look away or go to another room while Fricosu enters a password on her laptop and hands it back to agents so the hard drive can be copied.

There are few cases that deal with this issue.

The sophistication of the codes that anyone can use is so great that it takes years to crack them, if they can be cracked at all.

Bottom line: if the governments wants in, it can force you to let in.

So, don’t forget your password. That would make the government very upset.

Continue Reading on www.washingtonpost.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

2 thoughts on ““Turn Over Your Encryption Password!”

  1. Blowback, not going to be nice

  2. They would just have to be upset. I use Linux which uses open source encryption. It can be VERY strong. According to one site that estimates how long it would take to break, a 15 digit password can mean decades to break. That's with very powerful distributed computing too. I'm talking NSA/CIA type stuff. I am considering using this on my /home directory. I don't care about the OS part, just my stuff. Nothing illegal but hey, it ticks them off. If they spend time on me, it would be less time they have to spend on someone else. lol

    I would like to see what the Supreme Court says on this. I think this violates the 5th myself.