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Judge: Man can't be forced to divulge encryption passphrase

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by themagician, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. themagician

    themagician Regular Member

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    A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

    Code:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-98....html?hhTest=1
    themagician
     
  2. Tom

    Tom Regular Member

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    Your link is broken, here is the real link:

    Code:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-9834495-38.html?hhTest=1
     
  3. themagician

    themagician Regular Member

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    '...Thanks Tommy!'

    themagician
     
  4. BozoClown

    BozoClown Junior Member

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    I wouldn't care what the judge orders, there is no way I would reveal my pass phrase for something as secure as pgp.

    The most they would do is put you behind bars for a few months charge being "contempt" or whatever legal term they choose, and that is if they even manage to prove that you did not forget the pass phrase.

    The judge just saved the state prosecution money by preventing the judicial system from wasting valuable time trying to get information no sensible person would reveal.
     
  5. zebrahat

    zebrahat Elite Member

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    My understanding is that TSA might still harass you at airport/Gestapo checks to unencrypt your data files on your laptop or flash device on demand, in order to clear you fro travel.
     
  6. delmages

    delmages Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    It will be very interesting to keep an eye on this case. The ruling made by Niedermeier will go down in history as a landmark case, especially if it is appealed to the appelate courts. The magistrate's decision will have a far reaching impact upon both the fundamental right to privacy as well as law enforcement's ability to duly perform search and seizure of technological equiptment.
     
  7. MoneyMafia

    MoneyMafia Regular Member

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    That's why I upload /download the sensitive files in some online secure locations and do not keep sensitive data on the laptop when traveling ..
     
  8. Freddie

    Freddie Registered Member

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    If you do that online storage trick be sure to use something like 'Eraser' (free application you can use to wipe file or empty disk space). You would be surprised how easy it is to recover "deleted files" (with the right recovery software)