by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 2nd 2009 1:53am
Two years ago, a US judge ruled that a guy with an encrypted hard drive did not have to hand over his encryption key to the police, as it would be a violation of the 5th Amendment (the right not to self-incriminate). The argument there is that the encryption key is a form of "speech." This is quite a reasonable ruling -- but it appears that over in the UK they view encryption keys quite differently. Last year, we wrote about a UK court ruling interpreting the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to mean that people could be required to hand over encryption keys, since encryption keys were not "speech" but an object that could be demanded. Unfortunately, this has now resulted in a schizophrenic man being jailed for refusing to decrypt his files. As many are noting, this seems to be an abuse of law enforcement, as the purpose of the RIPA law was supposed to be about stopping organized crime and terrorism, not dumping the mentally ill in prison.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Whistleblower Says UK Police Worked With Hackers To Access Activists' Email Accounts
- Homeland Security Starts Banning Laptops & Tablets On Planes From The Middle East
- UK Court Grants First Live Blocking Order To Stop New Infringing Streams As Soon As They Start
- Extra Digit Accidentally Typed By Officer Turns UK Man Into A Pedophile
- Bad Libel Law Strikes Again: Silly UK Twitter Spat Results In Six Figure Payout