Decrypt Laptop Or Go Directly to Jail

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Remember the guy that was ordered to give up his encryption keys to the courts so the prosecution could search his hard drives? Well, he has one day to comply or risk being locked up indefinitely. :eek:

That’s the provocative question being raised as a Wisconsin man faces a deadline today either to give up his encryption keys or risk indefinite imprisonment without a trial. The defendant’s attorney, Robin Shellow of Milwaukee, said it’s “one of the most important constitutional issues of the wired era.”
 

zaniix

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Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.
 

JayteeBates

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5th amendment should apply in my opinion. Should not be forced to self incriminate.
 

DarkStar_WNY

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I'm torn on this one, since in one way it's not really much different than requiring someone to open their door so police can search their home.
 

DarkStar_WNY

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Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.

It's called "contempt of court" for which you can be imprisoned until you comply with a lawful court order, but of course in this case the question is if this court order is lawful or not.
 

Modboxx

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I wonder what encryption he's using that they can't undo? Wouldn't they go directly to the manufacturer and ask for the keys?
 

NKDietrich

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Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.

I couldn't cite a specific law, but in the US judges can lock you away for the rest of your life for contempt if they want. There are no maximum limits in place, no burden of proof. The judge says "You're in contempt. Lock him up" and it happens.

Important note for you only-read-the-blurb types:

Law enforcement managed to decrypt one of his many drives on their own, and found both kiddy porn and pictures and financial information that imply ownership of the drive. The reasonable suspicion that the other drives contain the same could sway the judges decision on whether the 5th Amendment is applicable in this case.
 

King of Heroes

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So according to the article the police already decrypted one of the drives and found evidence linking him to the drives (financial records) as well as to the crime he's being prosecuted for. If that's the case, why the hell does the prosecution still need him to incriminate himself? They should have more than enough evidence to move forward him without his cooperation.
 

Serpent

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So according to the article the police already decrypted one of the drives and found evidence linking him to the drives (financial records) as well as to the crime he's being prosecuted for. If that's the case, why the hell does the prosecution still need him to incriminate himself? They should have more than enough evidence to move forward him without his cooperation.

Makes no sense..... maybe they are trying to give him a bigger sentence?
 

Cyraxx

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Plausible deniability.

...What is wrong with people like you?

There is a reason our rights are being raped, and it's because of people like you spouting "WELL IF U DIDNT DO IT THEN U SHUD HAVE NUTTIN' TO HIDE!"

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Siphric_Acid

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Makes no sense..... maybe they are trying to give him a bigger sentence?


Either way it's win win for them. If he doesn't give the keys up, he'll be there indefinitely; If he does he'll be convicted and probably in jail the rest of his life.
 

NKDietrich

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...What is wrong with people like you?

There is a reason our rights are being raped, and it's because of people like you spouting "WELL IF U DIDNT DO IT THEN U SHUD HAVE NUTTIN' TO HIDE!"

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

I don't think you understand what he is saying... because it's not that at all.
 

draksia

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I wonder what encryption he's using that they can't undo? Wouldn't they go directly to the manufacturer and ask for the keys?

I hope to god there isn't a backdoor, any encryption would be useless if there was.
 

Rusty4560

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...What is wrong with people like you?

There is a reason our rights are being raped, and it's because of people like you spouting "WELL IF U DIDNT DO IT THEN U SHUD HAVE NUTTIN' TO HIDE!"

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Maybe he was referring to the ability to decrypt. Deny ability or knowledge of the password.
 

JayteeBates

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I'm torn on this one, since in one way it's not really much different than requiring someone to open their door so police can search their home.

You can refuse to open the door - in which case with proper warrant they can force their way in. Now I am sure someone somewhere passed a law saying if you did not open the door for a lawful warrant then you are guilty of something but it is the same principal. If they have a warrant and he does not comply he may be guilty of not complying with a warrant and police in the execution of their lawful duty but that would be it I would expect.

It is kind of like the house had a (virtually) indestructible door they could not knock down to get in if you decide not to open it.

He may not have the best encryption if they already broke one drive.
 

Modboxx

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Maybe he was referring to the ability to decrypt. Deny ability or knowledge of the password.

It is true that he might not remember, at my old job we used credant and if you couldn't get the key from our server you were screwed.
 

DarkStar_WNY

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So according to the article the police already decrypted one of the drives and found evidence linking him to the drives (financial records) as well as to the crime he's being prosecuted for. If that's the case, why the hell does the prosecution still need him to incriminate himself? They should have more than enough evidence to move forward him without his cooperation.

True, although couldn't that fact work against him? I mean if the prosecutor said "We already have enough to convict, now we just need access to the rest of the drives to see if we can use the images on them to locate any of these abused children," it would go from self incrimination to human safety request.

IANAL so I have no clue if this could ever work in a courtroom, but it seems logical (which by being logical would lead me to believe it wouldn't work in court since the courts and logic seem to have little in common.)
 

Gman1979

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Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.

They're essentially trying to force him to incriminate himself in violation of his constitutional rights. They wouldn't even need him to decrypt the drives if the NSA would do it for them, but inter agency pissing contests and budget justifications prevent this common sense approach from being used. The FBI already managed to decrypt one of the drives using a purely CPU cluster approach. They should just rent compute time on a GPU enhanced cluster if they wish to decrypt the rest. It would take orders of magnitude less time to decrypt the drives this way than the FBI is trying to claim in court (intentional fluffing or are they really that technically inept?). There's just no such thing as totally secure encryption anymore with the compute power we now have at our disposal. When I can use a consumer graphics card to brute force a 28 character passkey in just a few hours, there's no excuse the government isn't able to do even more in less time. The NSA already decrypts ALL transatlantic telephone traffic in near real time before storing it in a datacenter for possible use later, and some of that traffic uses keys exceeding 2048 bits. Encryption gives people a false sense of security these days because they are painfully unaware of the existence of ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). If you don't know what I am referring to then take a look at the ASIC discussions lighting up Bitcoin mining forums. Bitcoin is built on hashing a particular encryption algorithm. At first it was done with CPUs. Then people made the leap to crunching these hashes on GPUs, with the speed increase being astounding. Now even the GPUs are being made to look slow with the introduction of Bitcoin specific ASICs that can crunch the algorithm orders of magnitude faster than the GPUs at a fraction of the energy usage. These ASICs were designed and built by small companies with limited budgets for the most part. You honestly think the government hasn't already made use of this same research path for breaking encryption? Public sector technology tends to trail government technology by decades in some cases. An example of this is the Hubble Space Telescope. Most of us have seen the beautifully detailed images it can acquire and send back. Why it's relevant to my point? The cameras and lenses in it were based on technology the National Reconnaissance Office was using in the late 60s and early 70s. In the civilian world they were considered "state of the art" when Hubble launched, but in reality were approaching two decades old. This same technology gap applies when it comes to computers and encryption. If the judge were to be aware of the true abilities of government agencies to decrypt the drives, he would have zero basis for violating this man's right to not incriminate himself.

The saddest part about this is they will use it as a precedent in future cases, knowing most people are disgusted enough by what the man did to not speak out about the legal repercussions. Having to defend this guy's rights would make me sick to my stomach, but if this is allowed to go forward, then none of us can expect our right against self incrimination to remain in play going forward.

Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.

There's no law stating he can be held indefinitely. If it was a matter concerning "National Security" though, he can be held indefinitely without trial thanks to executive orders signed during the Truman administration. The CIA, at one time, actually had "asylums" where they would lock away "problem individuals" without trial or any rights to legal council. Some of you may recall hearing about a scientist named Frank Olsen. He was dosed with LSD without his consent, and held for several days in a hotel room in New York. When the CIA sent someone around to transport him to one of their asylums in Maryland, he opted to throw himself out the window to his death instead, knowing he'd never see freedom again. The asylums on U.S. soil gradually became more difficult to keep under wraps so now we just expatriate them to installations in other countries. If you have seen the aerial views of the Benghazi, Libya diplomatic compound that got attacked, then you also saw one such CIA installation without realizing it.

Once someone enters the public legal system though, the executive orders can't be applied to them.
 
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DId anyone actually read the article?

It says the authorities have decrypted one of the drives without him and found child porn. That is why the judge originally ruled against the government and then change his mind when presented with the evidence. Now they're trying to find out how guilty he is and if they can catch any other sick bastard along with him. The 5th amendment no longer applies if they already have the evidence to convict.

I'm definitely a 5th amendment supporter and user of drive encryption myself. The only scenario where I see this playing out in his favor is if he is guilty of any other crimes they can't prove yet then any evidence on the drives that would convict him of those crimes would be nullified by 5th amendment protections.
 
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...There's no law stating he can be held indefinitely.

This is not true. You can be held indefinitely if you are in contempt of court which is what would happen here. It's like hitting the pause button and going to the bathroom. He is a suspect in a crime and they need something from him he's unwilling to give up. So they pause the trial and lock him up till he gives up or someone finds something that would relieve his responsibility to provide the information the court requests.
 

Sovereign

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I don't usually see sensationalist headlines here on [H], but this definitely qualifies.

More accurate headline: "Decrypt hard drive or go to jail--because we've already decrypted your other drive that has your information and child porn on it, meeting the higher evidence standard which now over-rules any Fifth Amendment protection."
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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People who hide data under encryption are usually doing it because they're afriad that what they're doing is wrong and they don't want to get caught. So yeah, he's obviously got something to hide and so do most people who encrypt data. They're all pretty suspicious, if you ask me.
 

damicatz

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Under what law would "indefinite imprisonment without a trial." be allowed?

Sounds ridiculous.

The law of hurting a judge's ego.

Judges are egomaniacal tyrants who do whatever they want without regard for what the "law" actually is. Federal judges doubly so.
 

Ducman69

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It says the authorities have decrypted one of the drives without him and found child porn.
I wonder if they found child porn, or "child porn". If you have a picture of a 17 year old who took a picture of her boobs in the bathroom mirror, I believe that counts as child pornography, even though its not what most would think.
 

Seventyfive

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Just plead that he forgot where he stored them. Everyone at the IRS is allowed to say "I forget" or "I can't recollect" or "I don't remember" when asked why the persecuted conservatives or who told them to do it. Why can't a regular person plead ignorance just like the government?
 

CEpeep

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creating CP should mean, locked up indefinitely

Not if law enforcement has to trample all over everyone else's rights to get to that conclusion. Some children have already had their most precious rights trampled on by this clown, so let's end the wrongdoing there. More than enough evidence to convict has already been discovered and the prosecution should go to trial with what they have now, which is enough to lock this guy away for a long, long time. Putting everyone's 5th Amendment rights at stake in hopes of getting even more damning evidence is just gross overreach by the prosecution and represents a threat to everyone with zero potential for gain. We already know this guy is in possession of offending materials and has enough financial data revealed to be convicted for creation and distribution as well. There's nothing else on those drives they even need, and this joker is the absolute worst figurehead for a case that could be Supreme Court-bound.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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The law of hurting a judge's ego.

Judges are egomaniacal tyrants who do whatever they want without regard for what the "law" actually is. Federal judges doubly so.

I heard that judges are human and make dumb mistakes just like other humans do. I also read somewhere that their decisions can be reviewed and overturned which is pretty awesome since that means, while they might be able to make a decision based on the kind of sammich they had for lunch, things don't always stick if they're nutty insane out there like Albert Jay Nock and H. L. Mencken.
 

fdiaz78

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I'm torn on this one, since in one way it's not really much different than requiring someone to open their door so police can search their home.

Using your analogy, he is letting them in but not showing them where the secret hidden door leading to the stash of evidence. The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused.
 

fdiaz78

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Just plead that he forgot where he stored them. Everyone at the IRS is allowed to say "I forget" or "I can't recollect" or "I don't remember" when asked why the persecuted conservatives or who told them to do it. Why can't a regular person plead ignorance just like the government?

I know right. Absolutely blows my mind how these professional liars are so brazen. They are actually refusing to say who told them to target conservatives. Even liberals are having a hard time defending this crap.
 

aL Mac

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Serious question... what if he, or someone in the future, really doesn't remember the password or for some reason can no longer unlock it? Do we lock him up and throw away the key too? Without a trial?
 

CEpeep

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People who hide data under encryption are usually doing it because they're afriad that what they're doing is wrong and they don't want to get caught. So yeah, he's obviously got something to hide and so do most people who encrypt data. They're all pretty suspicious, if you ask me.

Subtle trolling. I like it.
 

Serpent

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DId anyone actually read the article?

If you read the posts, then you'd know that people have.

Question is, do you still have the ability to plead the fifth, when they have enough to evidence to convict. I would think so, because it's there to prevent you from convicting yourself.

Now if they already have the evidence, then why are they pushing it? Either they want a harsher punishment, or they don't think they have enough. If the former, and you can't plead the fifth, then I can understand, but that seems nonsensical, because you don't "know" until judgement is passed, and if it's passed, then that's it. It's already passed. If it's the latter, then they haven't proven him guilty yet.
 

lcpiper

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I agree with the judge.

They have proof he is a scumbag, they have enough to convict and the judge sees this. Now they want the rest of the data so they can levy the punishment on how many counts of kiddie porn this scumbag is guilty of committing.

It's no longer a question of guilt or innocence, it's a question of just how bad he was.
 

LeninGHOLA

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I agree with the judge.

They have proof he is a scumbag, they have enough to convict and the judge sees this. Now they want the rest of the data so they can levy the punishment on how many counts of kiddie porn this scumbag is guilty of committing.

It's no longer a question of guilt or innocence, it's a question of just how bad he was.

You still need a conviction to prove guilt. That said, I hope they ship him to the prison planet if he is truly guilty.
 

Kueller

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Pop question hot shot, you're going to jail for the rest of your life, would you rather be there for:
1. Contempt of court
2. Child porn

Yeah, I wouldn't decrypt those drives either...
 
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