Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You'll Get My Encryption Keys When You Pry Them...Oh, Wait...what?

Sure, there are always thousands of legal actions moving within the American judicial system - but you should pay attention to this one.  In short, the US government is attempting to compel an individual accused of real estate fraud to provide the encryption keys for his laptop data.  The defense is arguing that providing the encryption keys is tantamount to self-incrimination, the compulsion of which is strictly prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the US Constituion.

I'm siding with the defense on this one.  There's a mixed bag of precedent on such matters, but (as the linked TechCrunch article notes) the most appropriate parallel would seem to be that of a locked safe - which the goverment cannot force you to open.

I fully expect this case to run all the way up to the Supreme Court.  As I said, keep your eye on this one; the ramifications of this decision will have a huge impact on the data security world, and I suspect it will reach into the corporate world as well.

 

Precedent May Soon Be Set Regarding Your Right To Remain Encrypted | TechCrunch

 

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