Saturday, February 25, 2012

Appeals Court Upholds Constitutional Right Against Forced Decryption


AMENDMENT V [Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process (1791)]


“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”    


Privilege Against Self-Incrimination Applies to Act of Decrypting Data

San Francisco – A federal appeals court has found a Florida man’s constitutional rights were violated when he was imprisoned for refusing to decrypt data on several devices. This is the first time an appellate court has ruled the 5th Amendment protects against forced decryption – a major victory for constitutional rights in the digital age.

In this case, titled United States v. Doe, FBI agents seized two laptops and five external hard drives from a man they were investigating but were unable to access encrypted data they believed was stored on the devices via an encryption program called TrueCrypt. When a grand jury ordered the man to produce the unencrypted contents of the drives, he invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused to do so. The court held him in contempt and sent him to jail…”  



Three cheers for the Fifth Amendment!  Three Cheers for the Bill of Rights!

Choke on that Barack!

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