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Re: Is it possible to quit Google?
Actually all of the 5th encryption cases that made it to the appellate courts, ruled in favor of the rights of folks to keep their encryption passwords private due to the 5th. So it will hold up, as it's been vindicated. In fact, the appellate courts actually started something remarkable.. That by encrypting, the govt. cannot actually prove there is anything incriminating on there in the first place! It affirms that encryption is a remarkable technique to use because it doesn't imply guilt, and without a way to have probable cause, they cannot compel someone to decrypt it - or to substantiate guilt.
The applicability of the Fifth Amendment rests on the question of what the government knew and how it knew it. Federal prosecutors admitted at trial that while the amount of storage encrypted exceeded 5TB, there was no way to determine what data was on the hard drive indeed, if there was any data whatsoever. Plaintiffs were reduced to holding up numerical printouts of encryption code that they said represented the data they wanted, but were forced to admit that there was no way to differentiate what might be illegal material vs. legal.
The Government has not shown, however, that the drives actually contain any files, nor has it shown which of the estimated twenty million files the drives are capable of holding may prove useful
we are not persuaded by the suggestion that simply because the devices were encrypted necessarily means that Doe was trying to hide something. Just as a vault is capable of storing mountains of incriminating documents, that alone does not mean that it contains incriminating documents, or anything at all.
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Nice try .... I still say computers are not people and the 5th does not apply...
People also post titles like this on the net and give an opinion...
Judge Rules Refusing to Decrypt Hard Drive is Covered by Fifth Amendment
But as one comment put it...
"There a few half-truths in this article.
For one, the Fifth Amendment DOES have your back if you're talking about a combination-lock safe. The courts have distinguished between safes that lock with a physical key - which you can be forced to turn over - and safes that lock with combinations, because that requires you to turn over information. Telling the combo or entering it yourself is protected by the 5th as it's considered a "testimonial" act.
Also, neither of the previous two cases were legal precedent. To have precedential weight, a case must have been decided by a superior court, and the precedent applies only to the courts underneath the deciding body.
The Colorado case has no precedential weight, because it was decided by a trial court, and the appeals hasn't happened yet.
The Vermont case WAS decided by the appellate court, so its decision would be binding precedent only for the Vermont courts in that circuit, BUT, that case has been mis-stated.
The appellate court there did not rule on the encryption issue. They ruled that the decrypted contents of the hard drive were admissable because some of them had already been seen by law enforcement.
The issue wasn't that part of the drive was encrypted and part wasn't; he used whole-disk encryption. But as he crossed the border, his laptop was ON and officers were able to find the illicit content. Once he was arrested and it shut off, officers were unable to get it to power on again without the encryption key.
So the court ruled that the entirety of the contents were admissible under "inevitable discovery."
[Also, he voluntarily de-crypted the drives and then just challenged the admissibility.]
All things said, 5th Amendment protections for encryption keys is probably proper, despite the power imbalance between law enforcement and criminals. "
Gladiator Security Forum