Friday, July 15, 2011

How? With a pair of pliers and a blowtorch?

With the Fourth Amendment curled up on the floor and spitting teeth, the DoJ turns its attention on the Fifth, claiming it can force you to decrypt your laptop.

How timely, given that I'm currently reading The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.
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29 comments:

Nylarthotep said...

How's the book? I saw that a while ago and have been undecided as to whether to purchase or not.

An Ordinary American said...

This should fall under the right against self-incrimination.

You do not have to hand over your keys if the police have a legitimate search warrant--but if you don't, they'll simply break down the door.

Likewise, you don't have to un-encrypt your computers or personal notes--that's their job to figure out.

What will be interesting is if by (generic) your refusal, will they (feds) try to pile on more charges, such as "obstruction" or "conspiracy?"

The burden of proof is upon the gov't, but when the goons can pile on so damned many bullshit charges, the burden of DEFENSE falls upon the citizen.

Yes, there is a reason I reload and stockpile. Stories like this send me to reloading shop.

Unbelievable.

--AOA

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

The Administration will float a trial balloon, soon, in the wake of the budget talks. There is a scheme to save DoD money by bivouacking military personnel in people's spare rooms and basements. That way they don't have to pay the soldiers Basic Allowance for Quarters money. The government will ask for volunteer hosts first, then choose homes near bases at random.


What?

theirritablearchitect said...

Heard about this story on NPR several days ago.

I almost tore the steering wheel off of the column.

Just you watch, someone will eventually refuse to comply with this dubious "order" to cough up the encryption, and then, to no one's surprise, the Eight Amendment will get shredded when torture or coercion is used to extract it.

Tell me again, when the first shots are to be fired?

Anonymous said...

Generally, they'll use force in the same manner as hot-button civil issues: lock you in jail on "contempt" charges indefinitely, claiming that the victim holds the key to his/her own cell.

Absolute vomit.

DirtCrashr said...

The Administration is doing a head-fake, it's really to insure that Holder's laptop is inviolate.

Patrick Flowers said...

The book looks interesting. Kinda' sad that the dead tree version is $9 while the Kindle version is $12...

Nylarthotep said...

I was surprised at the cost of the kindle addition as well. I only buy relatively few books in paper since I got the kindle and I don't dig it when the e-book is more. I don't get the logic.

Just another reason why I hesitated buying it. Reviews on amazon weren't phenomenal, but I kind of expect that these days since too many people comment with out reading the book.

Tam said...

I'm digging it so far.

Ate my reuben with one hand so's I could maneuver the paperback with the other...

Tam said...

(He spent several pages kicking Bentham in the nutsack, which is always a crowd-pleaser, as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, I can see why this book pissed off both "Progressives" and "Conservatives" in the reviews at Amazon.)

Txred said...

Quoth the DOJ in the article, "Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases)..."

Oh THAT's cute. How did they go over all those knee-jerk examples and not mention the go-to excuse for ignoring our rights: drunk driving. The MADD ladies (and their president "Bill"; no seriously Bill is the head mother) shan't be pleased.

I should be able to read about our government's activities without reacting like I'm in a starring role on Deadwood. They're worse than those hoopleheads down at Yankton...

On a side note, when I copied and pasted that text, it automatically added a link to the article at the end. Interesting.

Borepatch said...

You know, in the trade this is known as a "rubber hose attack". Basically it's where the attacker beats the defender with a rubber hose until he coughs up the encryption keys.

There's even an XKCD about it.

Wonder if the fact that it's a joke in the computer security biz would influence a jury?

nbc said...

In the UK, failure to hand over encryption keys, or decrypted data, when requested is already a criminal offence.

I'm surprised it's taken the DoJ this long to have a crack at this.

Tam said...

Borepatch,

Roger the XKCD. :)

(Hence the post title, which is also a nod to Pulp Fiction.)

Borepatch said...

Oil of clove. ;-)

Quizikle said...

In the "Every little bit helps" department, 2nd-layer encrypt the encryption files so the file structure looks normal.

Probably "they" won't look deeper if you look properly submissive - not "Hee-hee, I have a secret", but "I may not like it but you, kind sir, are the police whom I respect and wouldn't be bothering me unless I have sinned".

Don't "delete", multi-pass "erase".

Or use a "Mission Impossible" style self-destruct mechanism.

Or the ultimate, most secure method of all: don't put anything on a computer you don't want anyone to see.

Anonymous said...

Big mother defense contractor informed us in 2005 that when we traveled overseas that returning to the country US Customs could examine and seize our lap tops to look for anything illegal or questionable.

When I did overseas training I carried a bare bones laptop with no personal data or emails.

Gerry

GuardDuck said...

They can have my pass phrase when they pry it from my cold dead tongue.

Oh wait.

Nylarthotep said...

That review sold me. Just Bought the book. Hope your link makes you money.

I love books that piss everyone off. Usually they have something of value to say.

Anonymous said...

Since we have the right to get from you your encryption code, we have the right to get it by ripping off your fingernails or applying the electrical terminals.

How ever, minimum force must be used. Interogators are not allowed to continue to use force after they give up the pass code.

Still, if a pass code is given up, but it has not yet been tried, then heavy manners may continue.

Tam said...

"How ever[sic], minimum force must be used."

The only thing worse than being tortured is being tortured by subliterate troglodytes.

BobG said...

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
- H. L. Mencken

tanksoldier said...

Seriously? What the Hell is going on? From the DOJ's brief:

Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals

POTENTIAL CRIMINALS? That's everybody who's not yet been convicted. What other rights should "potential criminals" (in other words, everybody) not have?

wv: goffinf
What the Obama administration is burying the Bill of Rights in while Obama golfs.

JC said...

With my power out, pliers and a blowtorch happens to be how I cook breakfast.

og said...

What, the DOJ wants to see a bunch of videos of oiled midgets wearing loincloths shaving goats with flint knives while singing the catalina magdalena hoopensteiner wallendiner song? I could just send them to them.

staghounds said...

1. I'm a prosecutor and this is too much for me.

2. If there is a reason to see the information more important than convicting her, grant her immunity.

3. She wouldn't be tortured, she would be jailed until she told.

4. Seriously, the DOJ can't see into a laptop? That is the art of the story I find hardest to believe. Maybe they should go to the local tenth grade class and offer a thousand dollars to whoever get in first.

Alan J. said...

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." My favorite line in Sucker Punch; and appropriate for dealing with the DOJ in this situation as well.

Eric Neil AndBob said...

Reading this article really makes me wish that I was an encryption system software designer. I'd put together a system that allowed me to place files in a "public" or "private" sector, with a password setup that would automatically erase the contents of the "private" sector and all traces indicating that one ever existed. Then when the DOJ asked for the password, guess which one they would get?

theirritablearchitect said...

nbc,

I'm not surprised it's a criminal offense over there, and I'll say this much, you Limey assholes didn't take to your very prescient authors on this very subject very well, either, and it shows.