Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Encryption passphrase deemed protected by the 5th

Submitted by Takichi
Takichi (1053302) writes "CNET is reporting on a case of a man accused of transporting child pornography across the Canadian border. A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force the defendant to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase. The ruling was given on the basis that the passphrase is protected under the 5th amendment to the United States Constitution (protection against self-incrimination).

There two arguments for and against this are the following:
  • Since the passphrase exists only within the defendant's memory, demanding the passphrase would be an act of compelling a defendant to divulge the contents of their mind — an act that is protected against.
  • The passphrase is more like a key to a safe, which can a defendant can be lawfully compelled to produce. Also, since the actual passphrase isn't relevant to the case, but the evidence it unlocks is, immunity from divulging the passphrase should be limited.
This discussion was created for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Encryption passphrase deemed protected by the 5th

Comments Filter:

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?