Woman Ordered to Decrypt Laptop Claims She "Forgot" Key

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Brand___X

The Feds won this 1... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/constitutional-showdown-voided-feds-decrypt-laptop-without-defendants-help.ars

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headhuntersix

Why not? Why wouldn't a search warrant cover the decryption of the data? And if the accused fails to comply, that's what the NSA is for...they could probably brute force their way through it in a week or so...

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Athlonite

If she's refusing to provide the "Key" to unlock an encrypted drive can the judge just not order it be done by other means ie: Brute force it

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compro01

Sure. If she only used 128-bit AES, it should be done around the time the last star in the universe goes out.

Might be able to cut that down to a couple years if a practical quantum computer is developed.

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Xaviersx

and frankly, a ploy on both sides. She can't remember, so she can't self incriminate, and the court saying oh its not self incrimination, just give us the key and nothing ill of that amendment is occurring. . . except for prosecuting you with whatever evidence is found on said decrypted device. Fuzzy logic on both ends, fingers crossed behind backs.

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noeldillabough

I'm sorry but I forget passwords I set like last week…that's why I use 1Password! She totally could have forgotten, even if she thinks she knows it she probably forgot (or its a weak key and totaly decryptable)

Brute force it for up to 7 chars and see if that does it (could be done in a day on a powerful computer with enough videocards to help out)

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Shawn Teo

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m31337

To be honest it does sound a bit suspicious only beacuse, as far as we know, she said she couldn't remember only after the 5th amendment tactic failed. That said as a Security Admin when people ask me what I do I jokingly tell them "reset passwords all day." Especially during the summer months when folks get back from vacation so in spite of the time line, pretty sure she can't remember.

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kuebel33

I'm still confused how they can say forcing her to give up the encryption key is not a violation of her 5th amendment.

As soon as she gives up the key, she's becoming a witness against herself..which the amendment clearly says no person should have to do that so....

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HenryT

First of all, it's not up to her to prove that she forgot, it's up to the govt. to prove she didn't. It's like jailing people for possessing stolen property, and then holding them in contempt for not producing the stolen merchandise they couldn't find but are SURE you have. Passwords CAN be forgotten, or, if a person is more clever, they can claim that it was stored on a USB drive or some other storage device (including a scrap of paper) that got destroyed.

Further, it's possible have multiple levels of encrypted containers. So how many times can a court insist that you cough up a password? So, let's say there's another encrypted file in this file she's supposed to give up the password for, does she have to give up the password again? How many times? What if it's hidden (like truecrypt allows)? Can the court force you to give up a password to a volume they suspect might be there?

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aarcane

The colorado in this case should refuse or fail to provide the encryption key, wait for the police investigators to outsource the decryption, then file charges using the DMCA because the investigators are violating a cryptographic system, which also happens to be intended to function as a copy protection mechanism.
I doubt she'd win, but it would be interesting to see how the DMCA holds up to true abuse.

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warptek2010

This is why I like using TrueCrypt. Create an encrypted container within a container. Give them the password to the outer container which just contains some dummy files while the inner one contains the actual encrypted files then let them prove you are lying.

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aarcane

Most disk encryption systems include a USB drive option, such that a USB drive is created that functions as a key in place of a password. If you, the user of the encrypted drive, happen to keep a small container of acid on the shelf right next to your key, you simply drop your USB key into the small container of acid, then Noone can possibly recover the contents of the drive short of brute force attacks. No court in the world could possibly compel you to unlock the drive, because it simply isn't possible.

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Hey.That_Dude

If they can prove that you did that. That's called tampering with the evidence, since you destroyed PHYSICAL evidence that could be used in Court. Low and behold, that tampering with evidence is illegal.

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pedersen1990

If you destroy it before they obtain it, is it really evidence at that point? Or at what point in this whole process does something become evidence?

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Hey.That_Dude

to do that before they knock in your door, is indeed legal. But you'd have to know they were coming. i.e. before they announce their pressence on your property. it's all very legally and stuff, read up on it if you want.

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rook

The laptop was seized in 2010. That's a long time to forgot a genuinely strong/random password.

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mclovin

When Quantum Computers come out in 30 years, this lady is so fucked... :P

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Hey.That_Dude

@Compro1 and thetechchild
Uh, hey guys... the case will be decided and then the double jepardy rule will be in place long before quantum hits in ^^^^"30 years".

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compro01

Not necessarily. Using a quantum computer and Grover's algorithm to break encryption basically halves the bit strength of a symmetric key cypher.

Basically, breaking 128-bit encryption on a quantum computer would be like 64-bit encryption on a normal computer. 192->96, 256-128, etc.

With a quantum computer, breaking 128-bit encryption would be theoretically doable, assuming a quantum computer can manage the same key checking rate as a "normal" (specialized hardware like the EFF's DES cracker) computer, though you'd be looking at a minimum of several months of waiting and up to several years worst case.

192 and 256-bit encryption would remain impossible.

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thetechchild

The bit length is NOT linear proportional, it's EXPONENTIAL. Halving the bit length means taking the square root. To put that into perspective, the square root of 1000 is about 32, much much less than 500.

PLUS, a practical quantum computer (as opposed to the restricted research ones in development) has near infinite (relative to current supercomputers) key checking rate.

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compro01

Where did I say it was linearly proportional?

That's why breaking 128-bit would go from "impossible" to "time consuming", whereas breaking 192 and 256-bit remain firmly impossible.

A practical quantum computer is quadratically faster than a conventional computer at checking keys. This is not infinite. It is mindbogglingly faster (finding a 128-bit key on a quantum computer is about 16,000,000,000,000,000,000 times faster than on a conventional computer), but even that is insufficient next to the largeness of the numbers we're dealing with when considering keyspaces of strong encryption.

Quantum computers are not a silver bullet for breaking encryption. It will wreck anything that relies on the discrete logarithm problem or integer factorization being hard (e.g. Diffie–Hellman–Merkle key exchange and RSA public key encryption would be rendered useless) or anything that has a relatively small keyspace (128-bit and smaller). Anything outside those bounds is unaffected.

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jnwoll

It's not that hard. If you've seized the computer, you've seized everything that is associated with that computer. Send the hard drive off to Kroll Ontrack and they'll break through that code for you. Then, just bill it to her.

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mattd390

"a Colorado is claiming that she no-longer remembers the key"

I hate those lying Colorado's!! :D

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Navydoc2024

I love how we state that someone else committing a crime makes it okay for someone else to commit a crime. "if they aren't going after the people who profited hugely from the collapse of the housing industry then why go after the little people who is likely to have been broke when they did it and most likely broke now?" I love this arguement that hey just because I'm committing a "small" crime, it's okay because a bigger crime was committed. So by that arguement I should be able to beat the crap out of someone I don't like becuase someone else committed murder. Hey, my crime isn't as important. Otherwise, all the arguements that KevinLV has put out stand. It would be nice if the government could just crack her encryption then we wouldn't be having this arguement. Instead, everyone here would be whining about how the government shouldn't invest in software/hackers to break "innocent" encryption. As for the arguement about who determines what level of "scumbaggery" is required. That is the whole point of the US legal system (which is hilarious because the actual scumbags tend to use our legal system against us). If you don't like the laws then vote in people to with similar views to yourself to change them. This is the whole point of a representative republic (US election system).

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aferrara50

your murder analogy is actually correct. as long as beating up the person didn't accelerate the murder of the person there won't be any repercussions, unless of course that person brings a batter charge or criminal assault charge, which is highly unlikely since he'll be dead.

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joel1981ia

I have a fence post that you can argue with, if you like. You make a good argument, but are making a planet out of a mole hill. I know the normal saying is a mountain, but you're really pushing the limits of what was said. Murderers aren't running around campaigning saying "I profited from the death of that person", but they are admitting to profiting from Fannie and Freddie. If you go after criminals, go across the board, not just someone who is smart enough to use a computer.

Yes, it would be nice if they knew how to work a computer but it is not the case. As for the 'whining' you mention, I haven't heard 'whining' that they have the ability to kick a door in, or use bolt cutters on a padlock, do I?

Finally, as for voting - we are not represented by the person we want in office, we are voting for the lesser of evils when in the booths, so actually choosing who governs us is only a dream. Believe it if you want, but sorry to break it to ya, it's a lie.

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wildwill2002

The difference between being forced to hand over a key to a safe and being forced to give an encryption password is that the safe is not the actual evidence, but instead the contents of the safe. With an encrypted HDD, though, the police already have all of the evidence that they can get from the HDD, written down as 1s and 0s; It's scrambled, but it is there. It is their job to decipher/unlock all of the data if they want to use any of it.
Let's say, for example, that there was a recording of me talking with my friend about a murder that I just committed but we spoke in a code language that only we understand. It would be unconstitutional for the police to force me to translate what I said into English. Just as with the encrypted hard drive, the police already have all of the information, but the job of translating (whether a code language or 1s and 0s on a hard drive) into usable evidence comes solely down on the state.

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CaptainFabulous

Yes.

It's obvious she's lying, otherwise she would have used this "I forgot" defense long ago.

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milkcowx

Kind of surprised they aren't going to use that new National Defense Authorization Act to tune her up a little.

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sekander94

Courts can't force you to give other kinds of information, so why should this be any different?

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biggiebob12345

Courts actually can. You just can't be forced to give information that could be used against *you*.

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KenLV

Actually they CAN force you to turn over information and materials that they can use against you. What they can’t do is force you to testify against yourself.

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joel1981ia

And they have done just that. Whose possession is the hard drive in? THEIRS...thus they have the evidence, it was turned over whether voluntarily or by force. But they have it. They can't (or aren't supposed to be able to or even attempt) to get verbal or written information from you after giving you THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT - which is the Miranda warning, advising that you have the right to keep your mouth shut but warns that anything you say can be used against you in court. It can also be turned around on you if they want to. Giving your personal password involves speaking or acting in such a way as to give information which can incriminate you. Thus your right to remain silent would be violated if you can't exercise that right. Silence doesn't apply only to verbal communication. There is also written and physical communication.

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KenLV

Simply put, the “key” in this case is likened to the key to open your locker. That’s it, that’s the decision. If you don’t like it, I suggest you use aarcane’s USB/bottle of acid idea to destroy your key BEFORE you are compelled to turn it over (if you do it AFTER you are compelled, you’d still be found in contempt of court). Since you clearly haven’t even read the findings, I’m going to stop trying to re-explain why what your saying is contrary to what the court found.

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joel1981ia

Well, that is exactly how encryption works. And also the point that I have been trying to make. However, not all containers have the USB safeguard. I always opt out of creating a means of unlocking without the password. Therefore the acid bottle is not necessary.
As for the key to open the locker – if it is not in your possession when they arrest you then they cannot force you to give it to them. They can’t prove you even know where it is. Until they come out with the sci-fi style computer that can plug into your brain stem and read your thoughts then no matter how obvious the person is lying about what they know or don’t know. The fact is the contents of the brain are currently not capable of being analyzed for honesty.
The cops can get a warrant and go to the locker or the house of a suspect, and can use force to enter each – which bypasses the key. This means that turning the key over or refusing to turn it over, they are still going to enter into the area that permission is stated in the warrant for them to search. Best case scenario you’re innocent, turn over the key, they open it and find nothing there. Then when you get out of jail with the not guilty verdict there’s a chance it might not be destroyed and unusable.
The door is either kicked in or rammed in with a heavy object – penetrating the defenses of the residence and exposing all the contents therein to the ability to be searched. As for the locker, similar principle, but usually bolt cutters are used to open the lock, thus allowing access to the contents for searching by the cops.
Neither of these methods of entry involve forcing the suspect to give up anything. The suspect doesn’t even technically have to be present. The only way to stop them from breaking the integrity of the closed entry point is if the suspect does cooperate and open the door or turn over the key. Thus it is not necessary, under any circumstance, to force a suspect to turn over a physical key to open a door or locker. Thus they may be capable of forcing the key from the person, and even get away with it – but it’s not necessary. The key is not needed to enter the locked area.
The final lock, the one being discussed here, is not something that is tangible. This means it isn’t capable of being touched, it only exists in one place. That is the brain of the person who encrypted it – unless this person shares the password it is nowhere else. This key is stored alongside every thought, dream, word, idea that the person’s brain processes from day to day. It is in the same place that, if the person is guilty, the memory of the crime resides. If she were to refuse to give it up then it is the same as refusing to admit to the crime. If they can force her to give up the password then that will be a huge step toward the destruction of the 5th amendment. But then why shouldn’t the 5th join the rest of the constitution anyway? Most people today don’t even know the original purpose of it, which is sad.
As for the court’s ‘findings’ I must ask, why are they hunting eggs? It’s not Easter. I don’t have to ‘find’ that the contents of the brain is the only thing in this world that one can possess and truly be the sole proprietor of and never have to expose its contents to anyone against one’s will. Incarceration periods for contempt for the most part are not subject to the ability to appeal, unless the amount of fine or jail time is excessive.
We shall see how it turns out though, won’t we?

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KenLV

"As for the key to open the locker – if it is not in your possession when they arrest you then they cannot force you to give it to them."

In my scenario, and the one presented to the court, the person DOES have the key in their possession and they CAN force you to relinquish it. So your argument isn’t germane. It’s like arguing to the court, “well, we realize that you have a witness to the robbery, but if you didn’t…” who gives a hoot about the “if you didn’t?

90% of the rest of you post relates to that irrelevant argument so I’m not going to bother addressing it.

At this point, if the court determines that she is willfully in violation of its order, she will sit in a cell for contempt.

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joel1981ia

I want to say thanks, I had a good laugh at that reply this morning when I woke up. I do want to point out that in your scenario the ‘key’ that the person you are saying is in possession of, is not tangible. Therefore they cannot force it from her. As for “90% of the rest of you post relates to that irrelevant argument” – if you read the last portion of the previous section of your post you speak of witnessing a robbery, speaking of irrelevance. My statement was related at least to your getting your jollies on someone being ‘forced’ to do something. To each his own. As for the contempt, as I said, if it is an excessive penalty then she can appeal it and if the higher court is in her favor, she could go for wrongful imprisonment. But you’re right, none of this is really what the argument is. The argument is solely and specifically about whether or not she has the right to refuse the order of the judge to decrypt the drive. Or in other words, commit an act of communication which would open the door for them that they believe has evidence on the other side. I’m not sure if you’re not understanding what I’m saying or if you don’t agree with ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and that the burden of proof being on the prosecution. However, likewise I feel that if it is that you’re not understanding what I’m saying then most likely you’re not going to, I believe I have made my point pretty clear so I will quit bothering to clarify on this.

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KenLV

“I do want to point out that in your scenario the ‘key’ that the person you are saying is in possession of, is not tangible. Therefore they cannot force it from her.”

And that is why the judge has the option to toss her lying ass in jail for contempt – to FORCE her to provide the key. For someone so hung up on the “intangible” quality of the key, you can’t seem to fathom that there are other ways to “force” someone to do something and are assuming a physical “manhandling” if you will, to remove the key from her grasp. I think we ALL understand that there is no physical key to hold on to. Geeze, I can’t believe I have to explain what “force” is.

“As for the contempt, as I said, if it is an excessive penalty then she can appeal it and if the higher court is in her favor, she could go for wrongful imprisonment.”

Ummm… no, not wrongful imprisonment. What she is hoping (against hope I might add) is that the higher court disagrees with the finding.

“The argument is solely and specifically about whether or not she has the right to refuse the order of the judge to decrypt the drive.”

Sure, mostly correct.

“Or in other words…”

Nope, not in other words. In THOSE words. You’re continuing to try to make an argument that has already failed to pass muster.

“I’m not sure if you’re not understanding what I’m saying or if you don’t agree with ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and that the burden of proof being on the prosecution.”

You seem to think that those are the only two options. I DO understand what you are saying – you’re just wrong. This has nothing to do with “innocent until proven guilty”. She has evidence that she is required to turn over and has failed to do so.

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joel1981ia

Thanks for the explanation of the word ‘force’ – even though it was not needed. I am well aware of what force is, reading your comments force me to laugh at how you are simply arguing crap just to be arguing. I probably should feel bad that your anger and vain attempt to make any kind of valid argument in this discussion with me is probably the cause of the majority of your stress everyday. However, I am sorry to say, I don’t feel bad about your inability to understand my point.
As for tangible - I am not ‘hung up’ as you say on that fact. I am saying that the only way to ‘force’ an intangible item is locking them in jail, which means they are costing YOU and ME and everyone else who pays taxes money, and for what? To find evidence for conviction to lock her up even longer, costing more money? (I do understand that county jail doesn’t get federal dollars directly, however grants are provided to the state from federal funding and then filtered down to counties, so the long way around, there is an impact, however slight it may be.) And yes, it would be wrongful imprisonment to send her to jail for this contempt for a year and she’s still not giving up her right to retain the information they are trying to force her to convey in order to seal her eviction.
As for my statement about this discussion being about the debate of her right to not incriminate herself – I know there are some statements that stray from that – but in essence, it is completely correct, because every post leads back around to this subject.
Basically you are arguing that I am wrong and that is your whole statement. I really hope if she gives in that you become the target of a wrongful campaign and find that the results of this case allow your rights to be more easily violated. Tonight I am going to reply to these posts but then I am done. I am truly beginning to believe that you are a congressman, because just like them your whole argument is that the other side is wrong, without providing factual evidence of how they are wrong. That is a strong showing of ignorance.

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KenLV

“Thanks for the explanation of the word ‘force’ – even though it was not needed.”

Clearly, it was.

“I am saying that the only way to ‘force’ an intangible item is locking them in jail, which means they are costing YOU and ME and everyone else who pays taxes money, and for what?”

Actually, you said that they COULDN’T force her, it was I who said that the charge of contempt, and her rotting in a cell could. But there, in jail, is exactly where criminals should be. As to it costing us to keep them there, so? THAT, protecting law abiding citizens is about the ONLY thing I want a government to do and I’m perfectly happy to pay my taxes for it. They are there to ensure our right to live our lives – so long as our choices do not infringe upon another’s right to do the same. When that happens (that includes theft), THEN I want the government to do its job. I’ll agree with you on the limited resources our government has and if they’d cut out all the other BS and just focus on this – protecting its citizens from internal and external threats, there’d be a crap load more they could do.

“I am done”

Promise?

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joel1981ia

My apologies, I do know I said I was not responding anymore after yesterday but I do want to point out how your response to my posts are clearly, even after I said I was not responding anymore, merely making the statement that I’m wrong. I doubt if you go through my posts you would find any misspelled words or improper English, minus possibly a couple punctuation marks and/or a letter that could have been capitalized. But you don’t notice anything like that, which is evidence that I know what the word force means. At least by your ability to know that she remembers the password. See where I’m going? You simply stated as a response that I was incorrect. I give you reasoning to believe that my understanding of the word is much higher than you thought it was, and now you are going to state that I am wrong in yet another way. But I’m not responding this time, the only reason I am posting this is to give examples of what my 3 posts were last night. Also I am going to consolidate this into one post, so my apologies if it is hard to follow for anyone.
I cannot imply that forcing someone to sit in jail would not cause them to leak the password that the judge is seeking, nor have I. The judge charging her with contempt would be forcing her to stay in jail – which IS being forced. In the event she succumbs and gives up the password, that would be a conscientious decision to provide it, depending on your viewpoint, I consider this decision making separate from being forced into jail, because in the event she gets convicted for the evidence I wonder where she’ll be going then? Since there is the choice either way to either hang out in jail until the judge gets tired of you being in there or give up the key, technically force would not apply in the event she gave up the key, but if you view that differently then ok – apparently it isn’t I who needs the word force clarified.
As for protecting law abiding citizens – is she going around hitting, stabbing, and shooting at people? I mean, I don’t feel in danger if she’s on the street. But then that’s me, again you are entitled to your opinion. As for your ‘Promise?’ – after this yes, and if you hadn’t proven me 100% accurate yesterday I wouldn’t be pointing this out today. Yes, I do understand it will do no good because you will reply saying that I am wrong again to which I need not say anything. The mere fact you post in response to me saying you’re going to post along with me saying you’re going to say I am wrong is good enough for me.
Yes, you did tell me EXACTLY how I was wrong…that word evidence, the one thing that they can’t get without her giving it to them. As for the spousal privilege I merely said that looking at the bigger picture knowing that if I don’t account for it that it could be brought in as an argument trying to prove me wrong somehow. Just like the non-jury trial. By the way, you never said that is what she opted for, but it is pretty obvious that you are assuming that is the kind of trial she will have. The two amendments so far are the 5th (for the encryption key) and if they force her to stay in jail for a year in contempt of court that is wrongful imprisonment, technically cruel and unusual punishment, considering that exercising your Miranda rights by not giving information to the cops is what you are being punished for. If you like we can scratch that one and just agree that the 5th is being violated. What’s that? Oh you don’t find that acceptable? Why? Ahhh I see, then the argument will be over, and you won’t be able to boost your ego by stating ‘you’re wrong’ a billion different ways (yes an exaggerated number so tell me my counting is inaccurate with that billion I mentioned.)
Response t o my suggestion for everyone to turn over their keys to the cops – very strategic turning that back around toward me. I know my comparison is outlandish. Just like violating one’s 5th amendment is. Define law abiding citizen – you may not break laws regularly but if you’re beyond childhood you’ve broken a law at some point in your life, everyone has. The next thing I know you’ll say that a murderer can be forced to provide the location of the murder weapon to the cops. After all, they are in ‘possession’ of the knowledge of where it is, right? Therefore they should be forced to tell where it is at.
Finally to your third response yesterday, and I’ll be done. Hopefully MaximumPC will allow a post this long, if not I’ll have to split it but whatever….About the judge just making his decision – you really do think I am dumb, and I may be for giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’d read that and know that I wasn’t suggesting to strike the gavel as she walks in the courtroom. I know they have to go through a formal proceeding, at the end of which is when I was referring to the occurrence of the gavel strike. As for the impartial judge – there are very few impartial people today and the more the moral fiber of society is dissolved the less impartial people there will be. I know you’re talking about an impartial judge, but it takes a person to take on the role of judge, so my statement is relevant to respond to your statement.
And no, my hypothetical wasn’t regarding what ELSE is on the computer – it’s what else COULD BE on it. Perhaps a kitchen sink? (had to throw that in there, I want to be perfect and not leave anything out, you know?) Or could not be. I don’t know, do you? Obviously you do since you even know that the key is still in her brain. I bet you have even read her mind and know it yourself, since you’re so smart to know all of these things. (I did say before that I am pretty sure she’s not being truthful about having forgotten her password, but I do know it is impossible to prove one way or another).
As for ‘I’ll play this one out’ – you didn’t play that very well. I didn’t mention (nor think I had to) the charges or any of that. By ‘Judge states in court’ I was implying by a warrant, as he would most likely say it verbally and have the clerk produce the warrant for him to hand over to investigators after the fact. Bottom line, everything goes according to due process. Since the judge says, it must be, correct? He issued the warrant. The warrant was carried out. Evidence was obtained. It is unusable. Just like in a lot of cases, insufficient evidence and the suspect goes free and protected from double jeopardy (as long as that lasts at least). It happens all too often, and it is obvious that the suspect is guilty a lot of times (Casey Anthony) and the guilty party for sure knows what happened and where the evidence is and all that right? ***i.e. they are in “possession” of the “key” to get the evidence they need to prosecute. I don’t know how I can make it any more simple than that. But I also know it will attract a rebuttal and an explanation that I am wrong. I have heard ignorance is bliss, so I am slightly jealous at times.

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Hey.That_Dude

Again. I DON'T suggest you do that... it's called tampering with/ destroying evidence. She would have had to do that BEFORE the police arrested her and before the warrent was issued.
PLEASE, don't be silly.
Oh, and if it's in your head it should qualify as non-physical evidence. Which is indeed protected under the 5th amendment. Any court that says otherwise is gonna regret the backlash they receive.

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KenLV

Ummmm… I don’t see why you think anyone suggested that YOU put that idea out there. PRIOR to you even replying to his post up top, I clearly stated here that it was aarcane’s idea AND I warned that you’d be violating the law if you did it AFTER you were compelled to turn it over. So PLEASE, read what I wrote and maybe worry a little less about me and a little more about you looking silly.

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Hey.That_Dude

i was correcting the fact that you can't destroy evidence once police have obtained a warrent and search your house. NOT just after they ask it from you. That was all i was saying, and i replied directly to the person who made the comment in the first place.
I just want to make sure no one here gets any bad ideas.

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KenLV

Don't know what to tell you, but the post before your's was (as the time stamps show) mine and no correction was required. I think you misread and then posted hastily. It happens.

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rosant1

If they have a warrant then she should have to decrypt it. It is the same as searching her house, she can't use the 5th or claim she lost the house key to prevent them from entering the house, so how is this different. If they have the proper court order then crack that laptop right open.

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joel1981ia

The answer to how this is different is this:

You lost your house key: they kick your door in...the ones who are appointed to be 'authority' to your life opens the door themselves.

You forgot your encryption key: there's no physical door to kick in. The incompetent cop trying to retrieve evidence is helpless. They should be forced to 'break down the door' in the event that the door isn't open or is locked.

Too bad they aren't smart enough to hire hackers instead of people who are afraid to get their tie dirty, then they could do their jobs. Perhaps people should immediately after committing a crime walk into the police station and hand the cops the tools they used to commit the crime as well? According to this logic that is what is expected.

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MrHasselblad

The level of hard drive encryption depends upon a number of factors; some are quite easy to break; other cannot be broken within "reasonable" levels of resources.

One could even hire out (contract) ten **professional** hackers and also a few CRAY mainframes to boot; and then still not be able to break the code within a minimum of ten years. The tools to be able to properly encrypt most hard drives exist online; either for free or at very little cost.

Also... It wouldn't take professional knowledge to be able to encrypt the average hard drive; and then even guarantee in writting that it would be next to impossible for anyone to be able to break the codes

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joel1981ia

Not sure which side of the discussion you are on, but want to state that I do understand this. I work in technology, in the banking industry, so encryption is familiar to me. It’s funny when it’s our computer we are defensive and wanting to protect our privacy, but when it’s someone else’s it’s not quite as big of a deal. To me, it is a big deal, because we are constantly losing freedoms that we should be able to enjoy in America. The freedom of assembly section of the First Amendment has practically been used as toilet paper, an adult, no matter the age, has lost the right to make their own decision whether or not to wear a seat belt in a car, knowing that, if ejected from the vehicle in an accident the chances of dying in the crash exponentiates. If I want to become a greasy spot on the side of a tree just because I don’t want to wear a seat belt, I feel that it’s my choice (not saying it’s a good idea not to wear it, I actually wear it anyway). At least when you are going through the airport to go on a flight they feel you up. Kinda shocked they don’t charge extra for the fondling…and if they haven’t thought of it and reads this then they will probably charge and call it a ‘happy ending’.

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