[cryptography] US Appeals Court upholds right not to decrypt a drive

Jon Callas jon at callas.org
Sun Feb 26 12:35:55 EST 2012


On Feb 25, 2012, at 3:18 PM, Kevin W. Wall wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 2:50 AM, Jon Callas <jon at callas.org> wrote:
> 
> [snip]
> 
>> But to get to the specifics here, I've spoken to law enforcement and
>> border control people in a country that is not the US, who told me
>> that yeah, they know all about TrueCrypt and their assumption is
>> that *everyone* who has TrueCrypt has a hidden volume and if they
>> find TrueCrypt they just get straight to getting the second password.
>> They said, "We know about that trick, and we're not stupid."
> 
> Well, they'd be wrong with that assumption then.

Only from your point of view. From their point of view, the user is the one with wrong assumptions.

Remember what I said -- they're law enforcement and border control. In their world, Truecrypt is the same thing as a suitcase with a hidden compartment. When someone crosses a border (or they get to perform a search), hidden compartments aren't exempt. They get to search them. 

Also to them, Truecrypt is a suitcase that advertises a hidden compartment, and that's pretty useless, in their world.

> 
>> I asked them about the case where someone has TrueCrypt but doesn't
>> have a hidden volume, what would happen to someone doesn't have one?
>> Their response was, "Why would you do a dumb thing like that? The whole
>> point of TrueCrypt is to have a hidden volume, and I suppose if you
>> don't have one, you'll be sitting in a room by yourself for a long
>> time. We're not *stupid*."
> 
> That's good to know then. I never had anything *that* secret to protect,
> so never bothered to create a hidden volume. I just wanted a good, cheap
> encrypted volume solution where I could keep my tax records and other
> sensitive personal info. And if law enforcement ever requested the password
> for that, I wouldn't hesitate to hand it over if they had the proper
> subpoena / court order. But I'd be SOL when then went looking for a second
> hidden volume simply because one doesn't exist. Guess if I ever go out of
> the country with my laptop, I'd just better securely wipe that partion.

Or just put something in it that you can show. 

	Jon




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