by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 17th 2007 7:05am
In an interesting case up in Vermont, a federal judge has ruled that someone accused of a crime cannot be forced to reveal his or her encryption key, as it would be a violation of the Constitution's 5th Amendment, saying that an individual cannot be forced to self-incriminate. In an age where encryption is becoming increasingly popular, expect to see other cases of this nature. It seems likely that a case like this one (if not this one itself) will eventually wind up before the Supreme Court to determine whether or not someone can be forced to give up his own encryption key. Where it gets tricky is the question of whether or not the key itself incriminates the person. As the article notes, a person can be forced to give up a key to a safe that contains incriminating evidence, which many say is analogous to this situation. In the meantime, though, we've already seen cases where people are presumed guilty just because their computers have encryption software installed -- so, it may not matter whether or not the key is provided when the presence of PGP alone is viewed as incriminating.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- United Arab Emirates Makes Using A VPN A Crime... To Protect The Local Telcos From VoIP Competition
- Federal Prosecutors Use All Writs Order To Compel Suspect To Unlock Phone With His Fingerprint
- EU Data Protection Official Says Revised Privacy Laws Should Ban Backdooring Encryption
- Former Homeland Security Advisor: Tech Companies Have The Burden Of Proving Harm Of Backdoored Encryption
- For The Third Time, Whatsapp Blocked (And Then Unblocked) By Brazilian Judges For Failing To Decrypt