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

Kevin W. Wall kevin.w.wall at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 20:50:40 EST 2012

On Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM, James A. Donald <jamesd at echeque.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-27 3:35 AM, Jon Callas wrote:
>> 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.
> Hidden compartment?  What hidden compartment?  If I have one,
> you are welcome to search it.  Go knock yourselves out.

Well, we're already considerably OT, but since the moderator seems to
be letting this thread play itself out, I use that to segue to a related topic
on a new proposed Ohio law and hidden compartments.

[I just literally finished posting this to my G+ account moments ago, but
will repost here rather than making all you you go to GooglePlus.]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is advocating a law that would make it a 4th-degree
felony to own any vehicle equipped with hidden compartments. Conviction
under this proposed law could mean up to 18 months in jail and a
potential $5,000 fine.

So someone please tell me why the ACLU is not jumping all over this? I
just don't see how this law is a good thing. It seems to me that this
could trap a lot of innocent people. Imagine the following scenario:

    A drug dealer whose car has a secret compartment decides to
    get some new wheels so he trades in is old car for a hot new
    one to some legitimate auto dealer. The auto dealer does not
    know this person is a drug dealer so they have no reason to
    suspect anything. Sometime later, the car dealer sells the
    car to someone. That "someone" then happens to get in an accident
    where they get rear ended. The ensuing damage reveals a hidden
    compartment such as that described in the Columbus Dispatch
    article (see below). The officer on the scene of the accident
    notices the secret compartment, and even though there are no
    drugs present, decides to arrest the driver of the damaged car
    solely because she or he can observe the secret compartment.
    Thereby some innocent person is charged with a fourth degree
    felony and at least has to go through a bunch of legal hoops
    to clear his or her name.

Now how is this a _good_ thing? So much for the presumed innocent until
proven guilty.

The original Columbus Dispatch article is here in case anyone wishes
to read it:

Blog: http://off-the-wall-security.blogspot.com/
"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree,
is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals.
We *cause* accidents."        -- Nathaniel Borenstein

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