UK Man Jailed For Refusing To Decrypt His Files

from the right-against-self-incrimination dept

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.

Filed Under: crime, decryption, uk


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual encryption?

    Funny how the forensic experts for ICE in the Boucher case cited in the article didn't do that...

    Funny how you call the customs agents "forensic experts" when they weren't. But wait, you're a fed and you guys consider yourselves "experts" at everything, huh? Well I've got news for you, that case was a classic example of you guys screwing up an investigation because you didn't know what you were doing.

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