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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:55 AM

Judge orders woman to give up password to hard drive

In the future, your hard drive may not be your hard drive: A federal judge has ruled that a Colorado woman, charged in a mortgage scam case, must turn over the password needed to decrypt her hard drive so that police can view the files on it.

Ramona Fricosu was given until Feb. 21 to comply with the order by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn. The judge said Fricosu's defense the Fifth Amendment's right against self-incrimination did not apply in the case, in which she is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. "I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer," the judge said in his ruling Tuesday, as reported by CNET.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties organization that filed an amicus brief on Fricosu's behalf, had argued that Fricosu should not be compelled to give up her password because it would violate her Fifth Amendment right, and there was no immunity "offered for loss of this protection."

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But the U.S. Attorney's Office said in court documents that if Fricosuwasn't ordered to unlock her computer, it would result in a "concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases) that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible.

http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/23/10219384-judge-orders-woman-to-give-up-password-to-hard-drive
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i read r heard something recently where you can be expected to give this shit up and turn it over in a divorce.

17 replies, 1934 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Judge orders woman to give up password to hard drive (Original post)
seabeyond Jan 2012 OP
Ian David Jan 2012 #1
Tunkamerica Jan 2012 #3
Kablooie Jan 2012 #4
Fawke Em Jan 2012 #12
Tunkamerica Jan 2012 #2
redqueen Jan 2012 #10
ljm2002 Jan 2012 #13
redqueen Jan 2012 #14
madokie Jan 2012 #5
TreasonousBastard Jan 2012 #6
redqueen Jan 2012 #11
LaydeeBug Jan 2012 #7
N7Shepard Jan 2012 #8
ladjf Jan 2012 #15
MattBaggins Jan 2012 #16
RC Jan 2012 #9
FreeJoe Jan 2012 #17

Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:58 AM

1. "I forgot my password. Sorry. Oops." n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:59 AM

3. I think the idea is that she'll be held until she gives up the password.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:07 AM

4. Forgetting passwords is considered contempt of court.

The judge has the ability to decree that and throw you in jail without any real evidence.
It will probably be a lesser term than if you provide evidence of financial fraud though.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:20 AM

12. Actually, in today's climate, it's probably a greater term

than financial fraud.

Financial fraud doesn't seem to garner much jail time at all - especially if you're a 1 percenter.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:59 AM

2. That's bullshit. Self incrimination is self incrimination.

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Response to Tunkamerica (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:17 AM

10. This isn't testimony, this is evidence.

She isn't being forced to answer questions which might incriminate her.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:26 AM

13. Actually, she *is* being forced...

...to answer a question which might incriminate her, i.e., "What's the hard drive password?"

I think the Fifth Amendment applies here.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:38 AM

14. lol ok...

I think that's one of those things which may fit the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

We'll see how it works out in the courts, not that I have any doubts.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:23 AM

5. If I was going to encrypt my hard drive

I'm not sure I'd not use a key sequence that I had no idea as to what I used so I could say, Hey I don't know it, figure it out on your own because I honestly didn't keep track of what keys I used or where in the sequence I used it.
I may be typing out my asss as I've never encrypted anything, to my knowledge that is.
SB

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:58 AM

6. The other thread on this was only half an hour ago...

and the story linked to said clearly that this may be no different than offering the keys to your safe when there's a warrant for the contents.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:18 AM

11. Exactly.

I'm shocked that this ins't obvious.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:06 AM

7. 5th Amendment anyone? nt

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 09:39 AM

8. Pro tip: If you're committing fraud you should really do that on a

"separate hard drive" and have it removed most of the time.

Or buy new hard drives every month or so and destroy the old ones.

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Response to N7Shepard (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:31 PM

15. Yes, USB removable, and if need be, bootable external hard drive. nt

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Response to N7Shepard (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:38 PM

16. Why would you do that

when you can use a wiping program on your data?

Use an encryption system that requires a USB stick as a boondongle and then accidentally lose it.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:10 AM

9. Forget hard drives.

 

Use appropriately sized USB flash drives to store the data. They make them up to 256GB capacity.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 12:50 PM

17. If you really want privacy

Use a program called TrueCrypt. It is free and open source. It creates a large file that you can use as an encrypted drive. The best part is that you can have it set aside a portion that is hidden and looks like unused space. So you put the stuff you don't mind them finding in the main area and the stuff you want private in the hidden area. There is no way for them to know whether you have a hidden area or not, so they can't force you to reveal the password (unless you leave other evidence that points to the existance of the hidden area).

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