Is data encryption legal?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by firefox2008, Mar 5, 2008.

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  1. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

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    I saw somewhere that it was considered an obstruction of justice. Maybe it depends on the country. I live in the U.S.
     
  2. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    To the best of my knowledge it is not in the U.S. However.....with the way things are now (post 9/11) it may raise some eyebrows among certain circles. :cool: That is if you believe Internet traffic is being watched\monitored. :ninja:
     
  3. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    Of course it is legal.

    In fact, there was a recent case in the news where someone accused of a crime was not required to divulge the encryption key as that is protected under the 5th amendment.

    Of course, enough waterboarding or torture might change your mind in these post-911 fascist days.
     
  4. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    I just want to mention that last week it seems the German government said ok for the police to "access hard drives via the Internet" in cases of "severe threats to state security". As far as I can see, if it's true the next step has to be a ban on encryption, else the whole thing seems meaningless. Then we have to expect that the third step will be that the German government, with the highly probable help of at least Great Britain and Sweden, tries to push it through in the entire EU. Please tell me I'm wrong, somebody!
     
  5. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

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    Respond to above post. Then if they decide to disallow encryption to see what is on the hard disk they will disallow firewalls, that is if this becomes law.
     
  6. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    Conjecture. Future-tripping. Too many what-ifs. Might as well worry about the Mayans being right about the end of the world.
     
  7. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    If I remember correctly, the court did allow the People to introduce the existence of an encryption program to prove a criminal intent. Which, if you follow that logic, would also include secure deletion tools.
     
  8. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    The CIA has been performing "secure deletions" for decades ;)
     
  9. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Followed by encryptions.
     
  10. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    Touche!
     
  11. emmpe

    emmpe Registered Member

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    In a way, maybe. I don't know where you live. Myself, I live in a small country that hasn't *officially* been to war since early 19th century and has a high standard of living, a faltering but still acceptable social security system and a rather high degree of popular organisation in trade unions and various citizen's bodies. Democracy, free speech and freedom of press are celebrated values here, and people are reasonably particular about doing their share, paying their way and obeying the law.

    Now let me quote our former Minister of Justice, Bodström, on the subject of wiretapping and bugging: "Security police is already doing these things illegaly so we might as well make it legal". He was also the most insistent of the EU ministers about logging all Internet and telephone communication. Then he went on to draft the legislation that now allows the security police to withhold evidence from the defendant in (staged) "terrorist" trials.

    Currently these measures are employed mainly for harassment of people with Arabic names, especially Palestinians, and that's bad enough. But Sweden is a small, peaceful country, which plays a very insignificant part in world politics and with only minor commitment to the US oil crusade, and still its government finds it prudent to curtail basic civil rights. Could it be just to please the racists and political cretins of the security police? I don't think so. So, "conjecture and future-tripping" - I agree, but our worries are firmly based on vast collective experience.
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I've read a bit on that and the above is true, but be aware, that if you give the key to someone else for safe keeping, the 5th amendment protection doesn't extend to them.
     
  13. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    I'm always surprised when people have been subdued enough that they think they need explicit permission or permits to do something. You aren't prohibited everything unless explicitly permitted, it is the other way around. Everything is legal unless there is law against it. So is there law against encryption? Maybe depending on how draconian your country is. And may against exporting strong crypto to draconian countries, who knows. Otherwise, yes, encrypt as hard and strong as you like.
     
  14. gemini44

    gemini44 Registered Member

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    Hello,
    I just want to tell you that as long as you do not come in some major problems with the justice;) I don`t think you should be concerned about this issue. So do encrypt your computer, specially if it is a notebook, because if you have important private informations on it and you loose it or is stolen is no longer funny. I use for my laptop a soft called DriveCrypt Plus Pack coz with it I had the possibility to create a hidden OS within a fake one, both with a separate password, so if someone want to access my computer and is very "insistent" ;) I give the password of the fake OS where is nothing "compromising".

    So go on and make your computer safe :thumb:
     
  15. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    Many businesses these days encrypt all the notebooks they issue to employees. As well they should.
     
  16. bmora96

    bmora96 Registered Member

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    Hello there,
    Data encryption is legal for some softwares. There are many standards avialable so that the data is encrypted using certain softwares with a password. Some open sources also offer this and we can modify their source code according to our needs. I am using Paragent which i can modify to my arrangements.
    Regards,
    Bmora96
     
  17. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    You are actually personally liable if you do not encrypt some data should it fall into the hands of others.
     
  18. ghodgson

    ghodgson Registered Member

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    You may have heard that here in the UK, the Government lost 2 discs in the post (unencrypted) with 25 million child benefit details on them, name, bank account number, Nat insurance number etc. Rather worrying given the data protection act and the government wanting to introduce ID cards for everyone.
    Secondly, I think I remember that new so called anti-terrorist legislation obliges anyone who has their PC seized to inform the police of any passwords to access encrypted data. A refusal means you are guilty !
    Gordon
     
  19. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    I live in the US and my lawyer/accountant (or is it accountant/lawyer?) supplies the software to encrypt my business laptop as it contains personal information about my customers .

    I take this to mean that it is legal to encrypt here in the US (after all, she has two professional licenses to worry about).
     
  20. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

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    So the French win over the British at last
     
  21. ghodgson

    ghodgson Registered Member

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    Not quite sure what you mean.............
    but I thought we were French !:D going back to William the conqueror of Normandy, 1066 and all that.

    Gordon
     
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