U.S. Court Extends Fifth Amendment to Encrypted Data

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Athinira:
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You can try to twist it any way you like, but history has shown that the ability to deny speaking with or helping the police (if you're a suspect) is a NECESSARY right if the goal of the 'justice' system is to disperse actual justice. The amount of innocents that have been jailed on account of not exercising their rights is staggering, and i see no convincing argument to take those rights away from them. Especially not the 5th. I once again recommend watchin the video above. There are some interesting statistics about how many people have gone to jail for not taking the 5th (especially during earlier times where racism caused black people to be tried en masse for crimes they did not commit, and many went to jail on confessions).

The point you, and others, miss here is that in this case there has already been a safeguard imposed. That is to say that the evidence has been seized legally, a judge has already looked this over, and approved the seizure of that computer and data as relevent within the scope of the search. This is about access, not self incrimination, because the evidence has already been approved and entered, which is why it's a contempt issue. This isn't about testimony but a totally differant section of the legal system.

What's more you, and others, misunderstand the point of the 5th Amendment, that law exists to protect people from being forced to confess to unrelated crimes to give nessicary testimony. It's been twisted into other things, but that's the point. Someone taking the 5th is a sign that the goverment has to weigh offering immunity for whatever the crimes might be, against the potential value of testimony in the case to which they are involved.

Criminals being able to come up, swear an oath, and then refuse to answer questions is itself a manipulation of the intent of the protection, and one of the cases that kind of shows what a huge effect precedent can have on our system. If you think about it, why call anyone to trial for questioning if they can refuse to answer the questions? Kind of stupid, and that's because it wasn't originally supposed to work that way.

The bottom line is we disagree, but it is a contreversial issue for a reason. I'd agree with you, if it wasn't for the requirements to get the computer admitted to begin with, and as this is about evidence that has already been submitted, it's not a matter of violating "innocent until proven guilty" because it's already a matter of record for the proceeding.

Like in the last post I wrote (sorry if I'm snippy, I'm a bit tired), I'll also point out that the last thing we need in this country with all the problems with corperations, banks, and white collar criminals screwing everyone... the behavior that lead to things like occupy Wall Street, is saying that someone who can afford encryption the goverment can't break is basically entitled to get away with their crimes.

I love that 'The Founding Fathers' knew about computing and encryption when they wrote the constitution!
Any chance your old document could be slightly irrelevant to a modern day problem *Cough*Bible*Cough*

Therumancer:
The point you, and others, miss here is that in this case there has already been a safeguard imposed. That is to say that the evidence has been seized legally, a judge has already looked this over, and approved the seizure of that computer and data as relevent within the scope of the search. This is about access, not self incrimination, because the evidence has already been approved and entered, which is why it's a contempt issue. This isn't about testimony but a totally differant section of the legal system.

And again, you miss - or rather, did not read - my points at all.

Even if the computer/encrypted material has been seized legally, you can't:
- Prove that the person from which the computer was seized has knowledge of the content of the equipment or was the one supervising it
- Prove that the person is capable of decrypting the contents

There is no "safeguard" in trying to guess whether or not someone is responsible for encrypted content or is capable of decrypting it. It is what it is: Guessing.

Therumancer:
What's more you, and others, misunderstand the point of the 5th Amendment, that law exists to protect people from being forced to confess to unrelated crimes to give nessicary testimony. It's been twisted into other things, but that's the point. Someone taking the 5th is a sign that the goverment has to weigh offering immunity for whatever the crimes might be, against the potential value of testimony in the case to which they are involved.

"One of the 5th Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speakers own mouth."

From my last post to you.

The fifth amendment also clearly states that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself". Like i already explained earlier, decrypting encrypted content means that you, as the defendant, admits to knowing of the content and admits to controlling and having previously controlled it. This is the equivalent of self-testimony in a case where the prosecution doesn't have proof of a link between you and the (at the time) unknown content that are encrypted.

I think you might want to consider the option that it's not us that are misunderstanding the 5th Amendment. It's you who are deliberately misinterpreting it, creating your own "idea" of what it's meant to accomplish.

I'll take the Supreme Courts definition over yours, no offense intended.

Therumancer:
Criminals being able to come up, swear an oath, and then refuse to answer questions is itself a manipulation of the intent of the protection, and one of the cases that kind of shows what a huge effect precedent can have on our system. If you think about it, why call anyone to trial for questioning if they can refuse to answer the questions? Kind of stupid, and that's because it wasn't originally supposed to work that way.

Because:
- Not everyone refuses to answer questions (even though they can)
- People who lie often still give viable clues away that can be used to prosecute them
- Because having some questions answered is better than no questioned answered. Even if a defendant refuses to answer question X doesn't mean he refuses question Y.
- Because questions (and answers) creates context, and context is important for the jury/judge to get a better idea of the case.

I still see no evidence at all supporting your claim that the 5th Amendment is broken. The version you imagine might be broken, but like i said, that's likely because your idea of the 5th Amendment is off.

Therumancer:
Like in the last post I wrote (sorry if I'm snippy, I'm a bit tired), I'll also point out that the last thing we need in this country with all the problems with corperations, banks, and white collar criminals screwing everyone... the behavior that lead to things like occupy Wall Street, is saying that someone who can afford encryption the goverment can't break is basically entitled to get away with their crimes.

Listen, you cannot beat encryption. Ever. Why? Because of deniable encryption, which in truecrypt is know as plausible deniability. What this does is hide an encrypted container within an encrypted container in a way that makes it absolutely 100% impossible to prove it exists (beyond actually decrypting it). You can read more about how it works here. It's encryption that is practically impossible to beat short of brute-forcing the password (or torturing it out of someone). The only way to beat it is to outlaw encryption. The government already tried that 50 years ago by classifying encryption as a weapon, imposing restrictions. It didn't work.

Yes i agree it sucks for law-enforcement, but at the end of the day, encryption is just something they will have to live with. It's therefore up to the government to make sure there are safeguards in place that makes it harder for corporations to screw people. Encryption isn't something you can beat, ever.

Another day I'm thankful I don't live in the US.

To those asking: Truecrypt can be broken but the amount of power required to do it for one individual means they wouldn't even bother Even then you can keep portions of it hidden.

But the fact that now all you have to do is encrypt your HDD and get away with literally anything is a move made by an honest-to-god technology retard

Well this is just plain silly. What's he got on his hard drive that he doesn't want the FBI to see? He should have been put away for deliberate obstruction of justice. If you're threatened with a jail sentence, and all you have on your hard drive is a couple of embarrassing files, then surely you'd just let the FBI in?
Privacy is overrated when it starts interfering with the justice system.

rapidoud:
But the fact that now all you have to do is encrypt your HDD and get away with literally anything is a move made by an honest-to-god technology retard

Why do people keep making this stupid assumption that people can get away with anything?

Listen, people have been prosecuted before computers even existed (and encryption was something everyone could get). While winning a case based on data seized on a suspects computer can be nice, you can't rely on that to win every case for you.

There are other ways to win cases and other evidence to collect which prosecutors can use to sentence a criminal. Seizing computers CAN be useful, but it's not the only tool in the box.

And no, you cannot beat encryption. If the courts could compel people to reveal encryption keys, people would use hidden encryption volumes instead, and you wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Thyunda:
Well this is just plain silly. What's he got on his hard drive that he doesn't want the FBI to see? He should have been put away for deliberate obstruction of justice. If you're threatened with a jail sentence, and all you have on your hard drive is a couple of embarrassing files, then surely you'd just let the FBI in?

Jesus, more people who doesn't understand how encryption works, nor the law.

First of all, there is a difference between "obstruction of justice" and "refusing to help". Refusing to help police build a case against yourself is not the same as obstruction of justice. You have NO obligation to help them, and giving that helping them is counter-intuitive to your case, why would you?

Second of all, as mentioned in my earlier posts, you cannot beat encryption. Ever. Hidden volumes means that encryption can cheat investigators, and they have no way to prove otherwise.

Thyunda:
Privacy is overrated when it starts interfering with the justice system.

The man is innocent until proven guilty. To jail someone for "Obstruction of justice" (even though, as i explained, refusing to decrypt something isn't obstruction of justice), you first have to prove that there are justice to be dispersed in the first place. If the man is innocent (which is the governments job to prove that he isn't, and he isn't obliged to help them), then there is no justice to be dispersed.

Also i almost don't even want to touch terrible your logic is. By that argument, the government should install cameras in EVERY home in the United States so they could spy on us. Then they would be able to solve almost every case of domestic violence, robbery etc. Sounds like a good idea to you? :o)

i really do not see how unencrypting the info = being a witness against himself. he is not being forced to testify in court, just being forced to hand over evidence, something that happens on a daily basis. if the police have sufficient reason to believe the information on his computer is evidence to illegal happenings then i think they should have every right to obtain a court order for him to hand it over and make it accessible.

reonhato:
i really do not see how unencrypting the info = being a witness against himself.

Decrypting the contents is that same as admitting that you not only had knowledge of the content, but also having control over it/owning it. By decrypting it, you are basically displaying that you are the one responsible for the content of the encrypted container.

Therumancer:

Marcus Thomas:

Therumancer:

I consider simply finding the person guilty for not cooperating in that case and ending it right there a perfectly reasonable and civilized alternative.

I consider that to be extremely barbaric. The concept of innocent until proven guilty is pretty timeless.

Well, not really, actually that's a very western concept.

What's more this has nothing to do with that, this all about the rules of evidence really.

Basically, at this level we're talking about whether or not evidence that has been obtained in an approved search, and which is capable of proving a suspect guilty of crimes they committed, can be used in court if the accused can protect the evidence in such a way that the court cannot access it.

I'm saying that this is a stupid semantic arguement that is directly opposed to the spirit of the law, your saying you don't care. We disagree. But then again it's a touchy subject which is why it's newsworthy.

See, I think the problem is that your anti-goverment to the point where you want every tool and loophole you can use to defend yourself. I'm more concerned with the victims and getting the criminals off the street.

I'll also go so far as to say that I think you and the people like you, are one of the reasons why the country is such a mess right now, and why we have all these bankers and white collar criminals running roughshod over everyone, and things like the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The kind of defense your advocating is exactly how people like that manage to commit crimes and then avoid being held accountable for them due to being able to hire high priced lawyers to make semantic arguements for them. Right now this is exactly the kind of legal wrangling we need to step down on hard.

I can't help but think your tune would change if someone had scammed you out of a house or something, been caught red handed, and then got away with it because they were simply able to afford encryption the goverment can't break. If this stands it's a free pass for anyone who can afford enough digital protection to engage in any kind of scam they want. I have an issue with that.

*Shrug* 'Tis the price of freedom. It's still better than being thrown into prison for refusing to decrypt data. If you want to live in a world where law enforcement can do whatever needed to throw your ass in jail based solely on a hunch, then be my guest and go run off to a country where this is the case.

See you like to talk about how we'd be talking differently if we experienced the downside. Well, that logic works both ways you know. If you got tossed into prison for refusing to decrypt data for the police, I doubt you'd be arguing, but even then, that's irrelevant isn't it? Much like the basis for your argument. What this ultimately comes down to, is whether or not my freedom is worth the freedom of a criminal. If you don't think so, then as I said, there are other countries out there with different ways of operating, I suggest you look into immigration.

Athinira:

Thyunda:
Well this is just plain silly. What's he got on his hard drive that he doesn't want the FBI to see? He should have been put away for deliberate obstruction of justice. If you're threatened with a jail sentence, and all you have on your hard drive is a couple of embarrassing files, then surely you'd just let the FBI in?

Jesus, more people who doesn't understand how encryption works, nor the law.

First of all, there is a difference between "obstruction of justice" and "refusing to help". Refusing to help police build a case against yourself is not the same as obstruction of justice. You have NO obligation to help them, and giving that helping them is counter-intuitive to your case, why would you?

Second of all, as mentioned in my earlier posts, you cannot beat encryption. Ever. Hidden volumes means that encryption can cheat investigators, and they have no way to prove otherwise.

Thyunda:
Privacy is overrated when it starts interfering with the justice system.

The man is innocent until proven guilty. To jail someone for "Obstruction of justice" (even though, as i explained, refusing to decrypt something isn't obstruction of justice), you first have to prove that there are justice to be dispersed in the first place. If the man is innocent (which is the governments job to prove that he isn't, and he isn't obliged to help them), then there is no justice to be dispersed.

Also i almost don't even want to touch terrible your logic is. By that argument, the government should install cameras in EVERY home in the United States so they could spy on us. Then they would be able to solve almost every case of domestic violence, robbery etc. Sounds like a good idea to you? :o)

Slippery slope arguments are objectively invalid. Sorry lad. Or lass. Or other.

There's a huge difference between forcing somebody to build a case against themselves and spying on people, and decrypting some bloody data. And not only that, but an innocent man has no reason to deny them access.

And your...frankly ridiculous extensions to include spying? What if a neighbour has a CCTV camera mounted on their shared property and that camera happened to catch the intruders? Would you say that the neighbour should then hand over the tapes?

Good on them, for once I'm happy to see something intelligent and positive come out of the US! I'm kidding to all our American cousins, but you must admit there's some crazy stuff g'wan on your side of the pond. :-) Well done that judge.

This ruling is a great milestone for the cause of rights to privacy. In the UK, we've had pretty much every right to privacy stripped away systematically and what little is left is being taken by the govmt piece by piece with nary a moan or a whimper from the populace.

Police can stop and search anyone, for any time without reason. They can imprison anyone without reason for up to 42 days. They can insist we hand over any personal information, decryption keys, codes, etc and imprison us for 2 years if we refuse or cannot. They can monitor our communications and not to mention all the useless CCTV and traffic cameras...the former not good enough to be admissible in court, the second there to generate stealth taxes.

But no guns, free healthcare and better education so...

albino boo:
If you had the same information in safety deposit box a court order will grant access to it, if you do the electronic equivalent why should that have greater legal protection.

The problem here is that you're thinking two things are equivalent when they aren't at all. Storing documents in a safety deposit box instead of under your bed would be the equivalent of storing computer files on a third party server or friends hard drive instead of your own.

The police can gain access to it and there's nothing stopping them. But if the files in that safety deposit box are in code, which is the actual equivalent of computer files being encrypted, you don't have to tell them how to decode it, anymore than you'd have to explain bank transactions on a bank statement to them. They have access to the evidence and it's up to the prosecutors and police to make the case against you. Beyond giving them access to those files when they've proven they have due cause to acquire them and been given a warrant, you are under no obligation to help them do their job.

All you guys going on about this being a victory are simply ignoring the fact that all other methods of storing information and exchanging are legally discoverable why shouldn't encrypted data be also legally discoverable. If you write on piece of paper your plan to rob a bank, that document is capable of being used in evidence against you. If you do the same thing on a computer and encrypt it you cant be touched. Why is it any different?

No one is ignoring that at all, nor is encrypted information something the prosecutors can't legally obtain as a result of this ruling. They can be given access to it, but you don't have to help them decrypt it anymore than you would have to decrypt memo's you wrote in code for them. That's their job.

To address your example, if you write your plan to rob a bank on a piece of paper in code, they can take the piece of paper but it's up to them to decipher it. Just if you encrypt your hard drive, they can take the hard drive and look at any file on it they want, but it's up to them to decrypt it. You wouldn't have to help them in either case.

Hopefully that clarifies things because the problem seems to be that you are treating examples as equivalent which absolutely aren't, and assuming that encrypting files denies prosecutors access to them which isn't the case.

Athinira:

reonhato:
i really do not see how unencrypting the info = being a witness against himself.

Decrypting the contents is that same as admitting that you not only had knowledge of the content, but also having control over it/owning it. By decrypting it, you are basically displaying that you are the one responsible for the content of the encrypted container.

decrypting it is no more admitting you had knowledge of the contents as handing over paper documents. the only thing decrypting it proves is knowledge of how to decrypt it. again he is not being forced to be a witness against himself, just to give over evidence and make it accessible to the investigators, something that happens all the time.

Thyunda:
Slippery slope arguments are objectively invalid. Sorry lad. Or lass. Or other.

That's also what they said before Hitler.

Slippery slope arguments work just fine for the simple reasons that they have proven themself to hold true so many times through history. If you could point me to whatever law you have read somewhere that says they are objectively invalid, i would be happy, or is it just some rule you created in your own little fantasy kingdom?

Slippery slope arguments weren't invented for fun. They were invented because slippery slopes happen to be, well, slippery.

Thyunda:
There's a huge difference between forcing somebody to build a case against themselves and spying on people, and decrypting some bloody data. And not only that, but an innocent man has no reason to deny them access.

Actually there is. First of all, some people just don't like people looking into their privacy, even if it's the government. In fact, most people don't like it, although many are willing to coorperate if it gets them out of trouble faster. But bottom line is that people consider their private data to be noones business, and many are willing to fight for that right.

Second of all, the United States, as a country, has so many laws that, if you include laws that reference administrative regulations, that even the federal government can't keep track of them anymore. If you let the government into your hard drive, even if they don't find what they're looking for, there could be thousands of little things they would crucify you for instead that you wouldn't know about until they actually charge you. You want an example of how that works, Defense Attourney James Duane explains it perfectly well in this video (5:17 to 7:38).

In many other countries (including my own, Denmark), this kind of things aren't something you need to fear. But in the United States, the Government are more busy watching you than looking out for you. If you watch the rest of the video above, Duane also explains why even innocent people should never talk to the police. Go watch it, it might be educational for you.

Thyunda:
And your...frankly ridiculous extensions to include spying? What if a neighbour has a CCTV camera mounted on their shared property and that camera happened to catch the intruders? Would you say that the neighbour should then hand over the tapes?

The 'justice system' has used spying, including surveillance, wiretaps and GPS trackers for a long time. Given that it was you said that privacy was overrated when it interfered with the justice system, calling me out on being ridiculous is quite ironic. Consider if it isn't your own logic that is at fault here.

In your example, if my neighbor refused to hand over the tapes, i would say that he is an asshole for not helping out his fellow man (and i would laugh if he was their next robbery target), but i can't compel him to give over his own personal tapes. Being an asshole is not illegal, and if he hadn't had that CCTV kamera set up they would never have been caught on tape in the first place. At least he would have given me a CHANCE of getting some evidence for the police, and since i like to stay on good terms with my neighbors, I'm confident i could get him to give me the tapes willingly.

On the other hand, if he refused to give me the tape because I, myself, was often an asshole towards him, then i likely don't deserve them. That's my problem, not his. You reap as you sow.

Tipsy Giant:
I love that 'The Founding Fathers' knew about computing and encryption when they wrote the constitution!
Any chance your old document could be slightly irrelevant to a modern day problem *Cough*Bible*Cough*

The Founding Fathers DID know about encryption.

Athinira:
-snip-

So you're trying to tell me that it's somehow acceptable for somebody to aid a criminal's escape simply because the two of you don't get on? In the neighbour example, there is now a gang of potentially dangerous criminals who are out on the streets because he won't hand over the tapes. That's what you call aiding and abetting a known felon. Those tapes would serve to bring those men to justice, and if you deliberately withhold them, you're interfering with the justice system.

Once again. It's not 'the government are spying on me', it's 'I have broken the law'. The law that is in place to protect people. This criminal protection has to stop. It's ridiculous. They didn't bring him in and demand he decrypt his files because he looked shifty, you know. They brought him in because they had reason to believe that he was guilty, and if he holds the key to the evidence, then he is obliged to show it. If he won't show it, he's guilty.

Hey. If he's innocent, he could deconstruct the case against him. But since he won't, the only option is to assume he's guilty.

Oh. And slippery slope arguments are always invalid. First lesson of critical thinking and philosophy. I live in a city where every inch is covered by CCTV. It's also one of the few cities where it's safe to go out alone in the early hours. You're watched 100% while you're outside. But are there CCTV cameras in our houses? Are we spied on? Nope.

Slippery slope arguments are, have always been, and will always be horse shit. Forcing a criminal to decrypt the hard drive with the evidence on is NOT a bad thing. Criminals are the bad guys here, not the police. Bloody youth, with their 'fuck the police' attitudes.

reonhato:
decrypting it is no more admitting you had knowledge of the contents as handing over paper documents. the only thing decrypting it proves is knowledge of how to decrypt it. again he is not being forced to be a witness against himself, just to give over evidence and make it accessible to the investigators, something that happens all the time.

Handing over some paper documents doesn't prove that you own or are responsible for these, only that you were in possession of them at the time (or knew of their location). For example a secretary that hands over papers from her company archive to officials with a search warrant doesn't mean that she is responsible for their content. Anyone can hand over a piece of paper they have physical access to.

Knowledge of how to decrypt a specific encryption container is different. It requires you to know the exact means of decrypting that container, including the encryption software used, as well as the passwords and/or the keyfiles necessary to decrypt it.

Therefore, unless the encrypted content really do belong to someone else than yourself, and you can point out to the court who that person is and why you are in possession of the knowledge necessary to decrypt their content (not to mention that this person can deny your allegations and deny any knowledge of the encrypted content and how to decrypt it), the act of decrypting the content is an admittance that the content is within your power and responsibility, unless - liked mentioned - you can point out that someone else also had access.

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:
I love that 'The Founding Fathers' knew about computing and encryption when they wrote the constitution!
Any chance your old document could be slightly irrelevant to a modern day problem *Cough*Bible*Cough*

The Founding Fathers DID know about encryption.

LOL hardly encryption compared to modern standards

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:
I love that 'The Founding Fathers' knew about computing and encryption when they wrote the constitution!
Any chance your old document could be slightly irrelevant to a modern day problem *Cough*Bible*Cough*

The Founding Fathers DID know about encryption.

LOL hardly encryption compared to modern standards

The principle is literally identical.

Athinira:

reonhato:
decrypting it is no more admitting you had knowledge of the contents as handing over paper documents. the only thing decrypting it proves is knowledge of how to decrypt it. again he is not being forced to be a witness against himself, just to give over evidence and make it accessible to the investigators, something that happens all the time.

Handing over some paper documents doesn't prove that you own or are responsible for these, only that you were in possession of them at the time (or knew of their location). For example a secretary that hands over papers from her company archive to officials with a search warrant doesn't mean that she is responsible for their content. Anyone can hand over a piece of paper they have physical access to.

Knowledge of how to decrypt a specific encryption container is different. It requires you to know the exact means of decrypting that container, including the encryption software used, as well as the passwords and/or the keyfiles necessary to decrypt it.

Therefore, unless the encrypted content really do belong to someone else than yourself, and you can point out to the court who that person is and why you are in possession of the knowledge necessary to decrypt their content (not to mention that this person can deny your allegations and deny any knowledge of the encrypted content and how to decrypt it), the act of decrypting the content is an admittance that the content is within your power and responsibility, unless - liked mentioned - you can point out that someone else also had access.

i know the password to my mums computer because i have to fix it all the time, does not mean i know what the contents are.

this is a simply case of a deliberate attempt at hiding evidence and refusing to hand it over. it should not be protected any more then shredding papers.

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

The Founding Fathers DID know about encryption.

LOL hardly encryption compared to modern standards

The principle is literally identical.

Except that their encryption is for passing on messages and ours is for hiding information of varying description

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:

LOL hardly encryption compared to modern standards

The principle is literally identical.

Except that their encryption is for passing on messages and ours is for hiding information of varying description

uh, their encryption was used to pass messages with hidden information in them.

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

The principle is literally identical.

Except that their encryption is for passing on messages and ours is for hiding information of varying description

uh, their encryption was used to pass messages with hidden information in them.

but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

Thyunda:
So you're trying to tell me that it's somehow acceptable for somebody to aid a criminal's escape simply because the two of you don't get on?

And once again, you confuse the difference between "obstruction of justice" and "refusing to help" (in this case help IDENTIFY the robber, which isn't even close to helping his escape).

As for whether or not it's acceptable: Legally it's perfectly acceptable.

Morally: Like i said, you reap as you sow. If i don't get along with my neighbor, it's entirely up to him whether or not he wants to help catch my burglar. But like i said, you reap as you sow, and if he later gets targeted by the burglar, then he will probably regret not handing over those tapes. Nonetheless, it's a great incentive to help each other out instead of not getting along.

Thyunda:
In the neighbour example, there is now a gang of potentially dangerous criminals who are out on the streets because he won't hand over the tapes. That's what you call aiding and abetting a known felon.

No it's not. That's what YOU call aiding. Your definition is (legally) off.

You cannot force people to care about whether or not there are criminals on the street. Now luckily, most people DO care because they have common sense and can see reason. But for the more stupid people out there, you sadly cannot prevent people from being stupid.

Thyunda:
Once again. It's not 'the government are spying on me', it's 'I have broken the law'. The law that is in place to protect people.

No it's not. The law is in place to in an attempt to prevent anarchy. There are many laws that doesn't protect people, and some laws that can be considered directly harmful to the people. In fact, calling the legal system for the 'justice' system is wrong in so many ways, because justice is a very definable size. Try travelling to some middle-eastern Muslim countries and ask the women there how the law protects them (hint: it doesn't, and they are often entirely at the mercy of their abusive husbands).

Thyunda:
This criminal protection has to stop. It's ridiculous.

I'll just quote the Supreme Court again:
"One of the 5th Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speakers own mouth."

Again, watch the video i linked several times in this thread. It might enlighten you. I'll remind you that the United States is one of the western countries with the highest conviction rate of innocent men.

Thyunda:
Hey. If he's innocent, he could deconstruct the case against him. But since he won't, the only option is to assume he's guilty.

Then how come so many people have been convicted through history while they were innocent? Because the legal system isn't perfect, that's why.

'Deconstructing' a case against you, even if you're innocent, isn't easy. Again, watch the video i linked (you only need to watch the first half). It shows perfectly well how innocent men who doesn't invoke the so called "criminal protection" (as you described it) can easily get convicted without having done anything wrong.

Thyunda:
Oh. And slippery slope arguments are always invalid. First lesson of critical thinking and philosophy. I live in a city where every inch is covered by CCTV. It's also one of the few cities where it's safe to go out alone in the early hours. You're watched 100% while you're outside. But are there CCTV cameras in our houses? Are we spied on? Nope.

Who says we might not be in 10 years? 20 years? You are trying to tell me you can predict the future here. Sorry for not biting.

Also, I'd like you to link me this "Critical thinking and philosophy" study you seem to have taken, because I've never heard of it.

Thyunda:
Slippery slope arguments are, have always been, and will always be horse shit. Forcing a criminal to decrypt the hard drive with the evidence on is NOT a bad thing.

You're not a criminal until you are convicted.

That, and like i said again, there are ways around this. You can't beat encryption, ever, because hidden volumes deconstructs the very thing you are trying to do, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Of course, if you actually knew anything about how encryption actually works... Ah, the bliss of discussing with ignorant people :o)

reonhato:
i know the password to my mums computer because i have to fix it all the time, does not mean i know what the contents are.

this is a simply case of a deliberate attempt at hiding evidence and refusing to hand it over. it should not be protected any more then shredding papers.

Your comparison is flawed. Encryption isn't tantamount to destroying evidence because nothing is destroyed. It is simply stored in a state which renders it unreadable unless you either know how to decrypt it or can crack the decryption. No information is lost, just the meaning is hidden, and this is no different than if you had physical documents written in code.

And you can absolutely bet that being able to decrypt physical documents would be used as evidence against you in court, just as possessing the means to decrypt computer files would be. Especially if there was something incriminating contained within. Which is why the 5th amendment absolutely should apply here.

If you're going to argue otherwise, at least use legitimate comparisons rather than comparing two things which aren't equivalent at all.

Tipsy Giant:
but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

And that distinction is relevant how?

Athinira:
-snip-

Link you to this 'critical thinking and philosophy'?!
Alright. Fine.

http://www.stokesfc.ac.uk/st/curriculum_courses/humanities

Oh. Wait. Did you want some hastily Googled video from some guy? No, see, I'm one of them educated types.

And once again - I can't comprehend how you can defend actively refusing to aid an investigation. Your neighbour doesn't hand the tapes over? Because of him, the criminals are not identified. Because of him they can strike again. See, with your attitude, we can't remove the stupid. But with a more...forward-thinking approach, then yes, we CAN. People need to respect the police. 'Never trust a copper' is 70s talk. I like to think we've come past that. If the officer asks 'what's in the box', you open the box. The law enforcement has a job to do. An important job.

And the Middle East is an excellent example of why religion and state should remain totally separate. That doesn't apply here. We're talking about the fair, democratic, safe-for-all, equality-driven West.
Course, it's not safe at all, because you can avoid jail by simply telling the FBI "No, I won't let you see the evidence against me."

Vivi22:

reonhato:
i know the password to my mums computer because i have to fix it all the time, does not mean i know what the contents are.

this is a simply case of a deliberate attempt at hiding evidence and refusing to hand it over. it should not be protected any more then shredding papers.

Your comparison is flawed. Encryption isn't tantamount to destroying evidence because nothing is destroyed. It is simply stored in a state which renders it unreadable unless you either know how to decrypt it or can crack the decryption. No information is lost, just the meaning is hidden, and this is no different than if you had physical documents written in code.

And you can absolutely bet that being able to decrypt physical documents would be used as evidence against you in court, just as possessing the means to decrypt computer files would be. Especially if there was something incriminating contained within. Which is why the 5th amendment absolutely should apply here.

If you're going to argue otherwise, at least use legitimate comparisons rather than comparing two things which aren't equivalent at all.

Tipsy Giant:
but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

And that distinction is relevant how?

Well it's relevant as the "Founding Fathers" could not have known that an entire libraries worth of text with moving images proving fault could be stored and encrypted, can't believe i'm arguing whether a bunch of dudes from 1776 predicted hard drive encryption....!

reonhato:
i know the password to my mums computer because i have to fix it all the time, does not mean i know what the contents are.

...and similarly, being in possession of a computer with encrypted contents doesn't mean you know what the password for that content are :o)

reonhato:
this is a simply case of a deliberate attempt at hiding evidence and refusing to hand it over. it should not be protected any more then shredding papers.

No, no and no.

First of all, nothing is hidden. The police have access to the data, they just don't have the knowledge of how to read it. Shredding papers is DESTRUCTION of data. An entirely different thing. Destructed things can't necessarily be reconstructed, and those papers can therefore be irrecoverably lost. Decrypted data can ALWAYS be recovered if someone knows how to do it.

Second of all, you assume beforehand it's evidence. Until the content is actually decrypted, you don't know if it was just random data, of if there was actually something of interest to the case.

Thirdly, you don't know if anyone is "refusing" anything. Until the data actually gets decrypted, you cannot conclusively prove that the defendant is actually capable of decrypting the data to begin with. The law states that you cannot be held in contempt of court for not doing something you are incapable of doing.

.

Since you decided to bring in the example with you knowing your moms password, allow me to extend your example:
Imagine that your mom gives you her computer since she has gotten a new one. A few months later, the feds knock on your door with a search warrant because they believe to have evidence that there are illegal content on your computer (or maybe they believe you are tax frauding and wants to seize any documents that could be relevant, including digital ones). On your computer they find a file of random data (from back when your mom had the computer), which they suspect is an encrypted file.

Now first, they demand you decrypt it. You deny being able to decrypt it, stating that it's a leftover file from when your mom was the proprietor. The feds talk to your mom, but she says she forgot the password (or maybe she isn't sure what file they mean or can't remember) since it's some months since she used the computer.

Now, by your logic, the feds can now charge both you and your mom for withholding evidence, even though they cannot conclusively prove that the file is actually an encrypted file, or that either of you actually know (remembers) a valid password for the file.

And once again, i will remind you that real criminals CAN and WILL cheat the feds with a hidden volume, one which you cannot prove the existence of.

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:

Except that their encryption is for passing on messages and ours is for hiding information of varying description

uh, their encryption was used to pass messages with hidden information in them.

but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

a hard drive can only store binary data, which can be interpreted as text, images, or what have you. In any case, means of encrypting or hiding data, whether visual or textual, has existed for millenia and the Founding Fathers were certainly aware of the methods available to them, as they used them extensively throughout the Revolution.

Tipsy Giant:
Well it's relevant as the "Founding Fathers" could not have known that an entire libraries worth of text with moving images proving fault could be stored and encrypted, can't believe i'm arguing whether a bunch of dudes from 1776 predicted hard drive encryption....!

They certainly knew that written documents, which can be equally incriminating, could be encrypted.

No one is arguing that the Founding Fathers predicted modern computing technology. We are arguing that the principle of data encryption is identical to the one the Founding Fathers protected in the Bill of Rights.

cobra_ky:

Tipsy Giant:

cobra_ky:

uh, their encryption was used to pass messages with hidden information in them.

but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

a hard drive can only store binary data, which can be interpreted as text, images, or what have you. In any case, means of encrypting or hiding data, whether visual or textual, has existed for millenia and the Founding Fathers were certainly aware of the methods available to them, as they used them extensively throughout the Revolution.

They are irrelevant nowadays, the world is so different today than it was then, they need to write a new constitution, that's right I said it.

Vivi22:

reonhato:
i know the password to my mums computer because i have to fix it all the time, does not mean i know what the contents are.

this is a simply case of a deliberate attempt at hiding evidence and refusing to hand it over. it should not be protected any more then shredding papers.

Your comparison is flawed. Encryption isn't tantamount to destroying evidence because nothing is destroyed. It is simply stored in a state which renders it unreadable unless you either know how to decrypt it or can crack the decryption. No information is lost, just the meaning is hidden, and this is no different than if you had physical documents written in code.

And you can absolutely bet that being able to decrypt physical documents would be used as evidence against you in court, just as possessing the means to decrypt computer files would be. Especially if there was something incriminating contained within. Which is why the 5th amendment absolutely should apply here.

If you're going to argue otherwise, at least use legitimate comparisons rather than comparing two things which aren't equivalent at all.

Tipsy Giant:
but only text based information, whereas a hard drive can store more than text

And that distinction is relevant how?

ok then it should be no more protected as a guy who decides to bury his documents instead of shredding them. it is hiding evidence so it cannot be used.

decrypting something is not being a witness against yourself. sure the contents might not be great, but you are not testifying to the contents, just the fact that you knew how to decrypt it, just as the person handing over documents is not admitting to anything to do with the contents, just that they knew the location of said documents.

you have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise the 5th amendment can be applied in almost any circumstance. blatantly refusing to hand over evidence should be a crime.

Thyunda:
And once again - I can't comprehend how you can defend actively refusing to aid an investigation.

He's not defending it, he's pointing out it isn't illegal to not cooperate so long as police aren't knocking on the door with a warrant for evidence they believe you possess. I'm surprised such a distinction seems to be slipping past "one of them educated types."

People need to respect the police. 'Never trust a copper' is 70s talk. I like to think we've come past that. If the officer asks 'what's in the box', you open the box. The law enforcement has a job to do. An important job.

What world are you living in these days? Yeah, police have an important job to do. But mistakes do happen, abuses of power are surprisingly common, particularly in America, and not only do you have the right to consult with a lawyer before helping the police, it's a good idea to because anything has the potential to be taken out of context and misconstrued to land yourself or other innocent people in prison. It does happen, and you'd have to have your head in the sand not to realize that.

Tipsy Giant:
Well it's relevant as the "Founding Fathers" could not have known that an entire libraries worth of text with moving images proving fault could be stored and encrypted, can't believe i'm arguing whether a bunch of dudes from 1776 predicted hard drive encryption....!

The scale doesn't matter though because the principal is the same regardless of how much content is involved. If someone wanted to they could encode every physical document they ever produced, so again, how is the distinction your trying to make supposed to be relevant just because the potential scale has changed?

This is very interesting as it on the one hand its preventing catch 22, but on the other its just going to help pedophiles etc. to not be caught.

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