Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5th Amendment = Encryption?

A woman accused of bank fraud hopes to prevent the contents of her hard drive from being searched with encyrption.


If this were the case, it would quickly become impossible for the criminal justice system to prove a lot of their cases.

Interesting theory. The 5th amendment says:

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.

Looking at the parallel with the physical world, you can't refuse a valid search warrant for your house. Just because you have a safe in the house with a key, doesn't mean the police can't search it.

Now, if your computer were an artifically intelligent computer, implanted with your memories...then maybe she would have a point.

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