Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Judge Orders Child Porn Suspect To Decrypt His Hard Drives

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the ruining-it-for-everyone dept.

Encryption 802

An anonymous reader writes "After having first decided against forcing a suspect to decrypt a number of hard drives that were believed to be his and to contain child pornography, a U.S. judge has changed his mind and has now ordered the suspect to provide law enforcement agents heading the investigation with a decrypted version of the contents of his encrypted data storage system, or the passwords needed to decrypt forensic copies of those storage devices. Jeffrey Feldman, a software developer at Rockwell Automation, has still not been charged with any crime, and the prosecution initially couldn't prove conclusively that the encrypted hard drives contained child pornography or were actually Feldman's, which led U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan to decide that forcing him to decrypt them would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But new evidence has made the judge reverse his first decision (PDF): the FBI has continued to try to crack the encryption on the discs, and has recently managed to decrypt and access one of the suspect's hard drives... The storage device was found to contain 'an intricate electronic folder structure comprised of approximately 6,712 folders and subfolders,' approximately 707,307 files (among them numerous files which constitute child pornography), detailed personal financial records and documents belonging to the suspect, as well as dozens of his personal photographs."

cancel ×

802 comments

fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854971)

First porn for kids post!

What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (5, Interesting)

samriel (1456543) | about a year ago | (#43854979)

Reading that made me ask three questions:
1) What kind of encryption did the FBI break?
2) Can they do it again, for any arbitrary encrypted data?
3) If 2), what kind of decryption should we use instead of 1) ?

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (5, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | about a year ago | (#43855005)

Most likely they had a dictionary attack (maybe hand-tuned to the suspect) get a lucky it.

If they had "broken" it, they wouldn't have stopped at one drive.

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (2, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43855013)

One time pad is your only hope

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year ago | (#43855127)

how are you going to do this? Have one hard drive in one room with the padded data, and one in the other with the pad?

also if you spread your data out over 8 equally sized hard drives, have it all nicely compressed using PAQ or something. HDD 1 contains the LSB of every byte, HDD 2 contains the next bit of every byte, and so on. How many hard drives do the FBI need to find before they can recover a useful amount of data?

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (4, Funny)

jxander (2605655) | about a year ago | (#43855061)

Oblig answer [xkcd.com]

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855085)

Or they just put some files together forcing him to proof it was not on the disk :)

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43855181)

Conspiracy bits aside, if the FBI found something, why would they demand he open the gates to more?

Could they not simply prosecute him based on just what they have so far? That way there would be no 5th Amendment violation, and they would (should?) have sufficient evidence so far to successfully prosecute him anyway.

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855267)

you didn't read the article did you?

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855097)

Perhaps we need a new form or encryption which offers two views of the encrypted storage. One view hides the content, the other exposes it normally.

Or, perhaps the second password offers a self destruct.

Re: What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#43855191)

And destruction of evidence is a pretty damn serious crime.

Re: What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#43855207)

Who said it was "evidence"?

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43855277)

Truecrypt's plausible deniability hidden volumes?

You're a bit late to the party on that idea.

I too am curious what exactly they broke.

Re:What kind of encryption did the FBI break? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855315)

Truecrypt doesn't work on Windows 8, nor Windows Server 2012.

Plausible deniability... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854985)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plausible_deniability

FBI shits on the constitution. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854987)

So the judge says no you can't do it. Then the FBI goes ahead and does it anyway. Then with this evidence they get the judge to change his mind.

Now, since apparently he did have some child porn, I'm glad he will go to prison, but what's the point of a judge saying no if the FBI will just do whatever it wants anyway?

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855051)

The Judge never said the FBI couldn't have a go at it, just that the suspect couldn't be compelled to hand over the decryption information because of lack of evidence.

Once the FBI had some success of their own and found evidence, then the judge changed his mind.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855195)

"Once the FBI had some success of their own and found evidence, then the judge changed his mind."

Doesn't fucking matter. We have an inalienable right to not expose ourselves to criminal prosecution, period.

And with this now in my mind, fuck your economy.

It goes to China. China is about to enslave you with my technology, fuck the FBI and Secret Service.

They just lost all right to anything at all. I hope they're prepared to feed their children from the boots of Chinese military.

I'm one hour away from full decryption and sellout of the entire USA economy, and you can't stop me.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855287)

No, it does not fucking matter. It does not matter because unless you have enough resources to defend yourself, your beloved rights amount to wet paper.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855323)

Forgot to check the AC checkbox?

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (1)

Dahan (130247) | about a year ago | (#43855343)

Khybering up another thread, I see...

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (1)

Darwiniac (634349) | about a year ago | (#43855055)

IANAL, but I believe the FBI (and law enforcement in general) is free to try and crack encrypted hard drives obtained with warrant, they just can't make you give up a password (until now).

Re: FBI shits on the constitution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855109)

The judge's first decision had nothing to do with the FBI and everything to do with the 5th Amendment of the US constitution, which reads:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." ...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, is the important part here. The FBI couldn't prove what was on the drives and couldn't prove they belonged to the accused, so ordering him to decrypt them would have been a violation of the self-incrimination clause and any evidence gained this way would eventually get thrown out on appeal and the accused would go free.

Now, nothing there prohibits the FBI from trying to decrypt the drives since they were taken with a warrant and had reasonable suspicion that they were used in a crime. Once they were able to decrypt those drives and see that in fact they did contain illegal content and were owned by the accused, the judge can then compel the accused to decrypt the other drives since it is now know that they are owned by him and contain illegal content.

Re: FBI shits on the constitution. (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855209)

"Now, nothing there prohibits the FBI from trying to decrypt the drives since they were taken with a warrant and had reasonable suspicion that they were used in a crime. Once they were able to decrypt those drives and see that in fact they did contain illegal content and were owned by the accused, the judge can then compel the accused to decrypt the other drives since it is now know that they are owned by him and contain illegal content."

You totally fail at constitutional rights.

You can't compel me PERIOD, even with a warrant. I can simply say No and if you fuck with me, I send your economy into a downward spiral.

Which I'm doing right now as an action against this unlawful bullshit.

And it's unlawful due to how the FBI took it.

Hope the FBI is ready to DIE when I trigger another civil war.

Re: FBI shits on the constitution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855317)

> since it is now know that they are owned by him and contain illegal content.

No, it is not known. While at most you could assume they are owned by him, there's no indication of what their contents are.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#43855137)

Absent any proof there was child porn on the drives the suspect couldn't be compelled to decrypt them to provide that evidence.

The FBI however was free to try and decrypt the drives.

After proving that drives at least contained some child porn it was no longer possible.

Imagine the same scenario with a house. The police think you have a grow op. But they don't have any actual proof of a grow up. They have a power bill, show up at your door and you say 'sorry, I run a server farm, not a grow op, no you cannot come in'. The police not believing this story keep snooping around, they watch you bring in lamps and fertilizer and numerous suspicious people bringing packages out. Eventually they get some sort of valid evidence that you have at least one growing illegal plant in your house. Now they can get a warrant, and you have to let them in.

You don't have to provide the police a key to your house, unless they can convince a judge there is definitely something illegal hidden behind your front door. Then you're boned.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855225)

"After proving that drives at least contained some child porn it was no longer possible."

Prove to me this person ilegaly downloaded it and was not given it in an attempt to frame him.

Oh, you can't. So fuck you and your future generations, I'm selling your future, and fuck you and your children, asshole.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (1)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about a year ago | (#43855337)

doesn't matter. Child porn was found on a hard drive he owned. He's guilty of possession of child porn. pretty open and shut. The law doesn't care if he was framed.

Re:FBI shits on the constitution. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43855271)

You don't have to provide the police a key to your house, unless they can convince a judge there is definitely something illegal hidden behind your front door.

This is the crucial issue, which you are glossing over. You DON'T have to provide the police a key to your house, even if they can convince a judge that there is definitely something illegal hidden behind your front door. If the cops show up to your house with a warrant, there's no requirement that you unlock the door for them. If you don't, they'll just break the door down.

What's happening here is quite different. The judge is compelling this man to assist the police who are trying to incriminate him. This is like issuing a search warrant where you are compelled to tell the police where your hiding places are.

"constitutes" child pornography. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854993)

Weasel-wording it like that makes me think it's probably random manga pictures from his browser cache and not real child pornography.

Re:"constitutes" child pornography. (2)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#43855197)

Well the legal definition specifies "lascivious" media rather than some laundry list of people, poses and acts. I suspect there's Kim Possible and My Little Pony erotic fan-art posted on Tumblr and Deviantart that meets the technical criteria for child pornography every day.

Re:"constitutes" child pornography. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43855199)

Indeed - if they had something concrete, they could just go after him on what they have.

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855001)

Pedophiles are animals, and don't deserve rights. Rights are for people, not monsters. If I had a pedophile in a room by myself and some one told me I had an hour I would literally put on some latex gloves, shove a huge tube down their pee hole and cut around it, then I would take a hot iron and burn the remaining portion to leave them dick-less but still able to piss out of the "straw."

It disgust me that this judge was going to let him off in the first place. Fuck pedos and fuck their stupid shit. They're all scum and I want them to all die in a bloody typhoon of death.

Re:Good (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43855073)

Does wrapping up savagery in righteousness make you feel just?

Re:Good (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43855131)

Or vice versa?

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855309)

Pedophiles are deranged. Mentally ill. Sick. You can't reason with them because their brains do no work like normal people. The only thing that they respond to is force.

But hey, these things have ways of sorting themselves out anyway. Whether they get busted trafficking CP or whether they finally and inevitably act out on their urges and try to molest their cousins or something, they'll end up in jail. Or dead, which is what they deserve. It is disgusting that I pay taxes that keep scum like this alive. They should be taken out and shot in the back of the head and dumped in a mass grave with similar ilk. We know we are in a sick society when the prisoners who knife them in jail are more righteous than we are.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855117)

I see we're into the land of "Monster until proven Person" now...

Re:Good (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43855183)

I see we're into the land of "Monster until proven Person" now...

That's the assumption I make when I hear an unidentified noise at night.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43855125)

Interesting. I just read about a normal guy who turned pedophile, was discovered to have a 'massive' brain tumor, had it removed, and promptly returned to being normal.

Glad you weren't ever alone in a room with him.

Re:Good (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about a year ago | (#43855239)

I find his return to normality highly suspicious.

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855279)

That doesn't matter in the slightest. If there is a rabid dog running around the neighborhood, you call the dog catcher and it is euthanized, even though it didn't choose to be rabid.

Also, I do know a real pedophile, my stepfather. He's attracted to little girls and tries his hardest not to look at them, I notice that. But fuck it, he shouldn't be "trying", he should naturally not be into them at all, the fucking freak. So don't talk to me about this shit.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855149)

Murderers are animals, and don't deserve rights. Rights are for people, not monsters...

Substitute terms as appropriate to apply to yourself for the rest of your ranting post.

P.S. You do realize "pedophile" is a psychiatric term with an actual, specific meaning, and that it doesn't speak at all to the existence of any criminal actions, don't you? A person who (in all likelihood completely beyond his or her control) feels an attraction for someone younger than puberty, and never acts upon it in any way, is a "pedophile". A person who repeatedly rapes multiple 16-year-olds, is not a "pedophile".

Are you sure your moral discernment here is rational? Have you yourself every been attracted to a 16-year-old? Should we now consider you as guilty as if you had raped her?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855249)

You do realize that the age of consent is 16, right?. Generally i wouldn't go near that. 18+ for me. There are so many girls who are of legal age that are so young looking. I have a 25 year old girlfriend that looks pretty young. So why don't you have sex with people of the legal age. They can still look really young. Its not because they love the child. Or its not even that children turn them on. Children are all they can get because children are easily manipulated. They never having sex with anyone older than 14 because they don't have the mental capacity to score girls any older than that.

Re:Good (1)

slaker (53818) | about a year ago | (#43855153)

It might be worth pointing out that it's precisely this attitude that makes the issue of finding proper justice so damned important for this issue. The law protects the accused, the guilty and the innocent, and it not our place absent the facts presented to a learned judge or jury of peers to decide otherwise. But hey if you want to start burning witches or castrating the mentally ill there's probably someplace in central Africa that would be happy to have you.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855245)

"Pedophiles are animals, and don't deserve rights."

I'm sorry you failed basic biology - humans are animals as well.

Go back to high school and maybe learn the truth - your government is trying to fuck you.

Nope, I'm going to fuck you and your future generations first. Government can't stop me, PERIOD.

Thank ITAR laws for that one.

Re:Good (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43855319)

Pedophiles are animals, and don't deserve rights.

You are an idiot, and I doubt if you even understand what pedophilia is. Most pedophiles are not child molesters. Most child molesters are not pedophiles. Pedophilia is a psychological condition that causes someone to be sexually attracted to prepubescent children. But most people that feel this attraction do not act on it (since to do so is a serious crime). Most people charged as child molesters, on the other hand, are not pedophiles. They are not attracted to prepubescent children. Instead they are attracted to teenagers that are legally children, but biologically most certainly are not.

But the defendant in this case has not been accused of either pedophilia (which is not a crime) nor child molestation. He has been accused of possessing child pornography, which is a crime even if no actual children are involved. Computer generated animation, or even a pencil sketch can get you arrested. You want to castrate people for drawing pictures?

Here's his best defense.. (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#43855019)

He should inform the honorable judge that he's forgotten the decryption parameters or whatever they are called.

This way, he puts the ball back into their court. That is, to prove that he indeed still remembers these parameters.

That will be a tough one to prove.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855065)

I agree with this.

Your honor, I simply forgot. I really wish I could remember, but I can't.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (3, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43855089)

He should inform the honorable judge that he's forgotten the decryption parameters or whatever they are called.

This way, he puts the ball back into their court. That is, to prove that he indeed still remembers these parameters.

Not at all. First, informing the judge that he's forgotten the decryption parameters would have been an awful stupid move. "Having forgotten" would have implied that he once knew them, which would have been proof that the hard drives were his. Second, since the drives are now known to be his because the FBI encrypted a drive, refusing to decrypt would now be taken as evidence that he's got something to hide, basically an admission of guilt.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855205)

"Having forgotten" would have implied that he once knew them, which would have been proof that the hard drives were his.

I quite sure that there is no question as to the rightful and true owner of these drives. It would be a childish effort to try to deny ownership at this point.

refusing to decrypt would now be taken as evidence that he's got something to hide, basically an admission of guilt.

Mercifully, this is not how the U.S. justice system works. This wouldn't even pass as circumstantial evidence.

Acting like, or even having something to hide, is NOT evidence of NOR an admission of guilt.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | about a year ago | (#43855259)

"Having forgotten" would have implied that he once knew them...

True.

... which would have been proof that the hard drives were his.

False. You can tell the me combination to your safe, but the safe is still yours.

... refusing to decrypt would now be taken as evidence that he's got something to hide, basically an admission of guilt

False. Lack of evidence is not evidence. The 5th Amendment is not a tool for the guilty, but for the innocent [youtube.com] .

Re:Here's his best defense.. (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855275)

"Second, since the drives are now known to be his because the FBI encrypted a drive,"

That would imply that the FBI took illegal possession of his drive and planted evidence since they now have the encryption keys.

You fucking idiot.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855101)

That would be fine, except that they will just leave him in prison until he remembers. Individuals no longer have any rights...

Re:Here's his best defense.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855231)

Worked for Alberto Gonzales. "I can't recall."

Re:Here's his best defense.. (1)

nehumanuscrede (624750) | about a year ago | (#43855237)

" Your honor, I don't recall the passwords "
Call it the Ronald Reagan defense. ( Or political defense for that matter ) Works for them all the time.

"Unless it is junk, it is more than likely that they brute forced the encryption passphrase for that hard drive. "

That would worry me, though it would have to be a ridiculously short key length / space to be plausible.

< tin foil hat time >

I have always been curious, what would stop manufacturers from basically throwing a keylogger on a chip
into the keyboard hardware itself ? Ever play with a keylogger dongle ? It was an inline unit between the
keyboard and computer that simply logged everything you typed. To activate it, you simply typed a certain
password / passphrase in and it would open up in note / wordpad and show you the entire log.

It would be dead simple to add this within keyboards today and no one would have a clue it was even there.
Would certainly make sure those failing memories of yours wouldn't hinder their ability to figure out what your
encryption keys were now would it . . . . .

Thoughts ?

< /tin foil hat time >

Re:Here's his best defense.. (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#43855321)

Manufacturers try to cut costs, not add them.

Re:Here's his best defense.. (4, Funny)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43855285)

He should have made his password or passphrase be

"I do not have the password"

Then, when asked for the password, he could truthfully state that his answer is "I do not have the password". Of course, a few weasely questions that he may be required to answer truthfully could shake this, but hey, why not for a first step?

Or possibly:

"I don't need no stinkin' password"

"This is not my drive."

"I forgot my password" as the passphrase!

"I assert my fifth amendment rights"

"I respectfully assert my fifth amendment rights"

"Fuck you" (J_1: what is your password? R_1: fuck you J1:Que? Off to jail! R_1: I answered fully and truthfully!)

Re:Here's his best defense.. (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about a year ago | (#43855339)

I'm not so sure that's the best defense. After all, if someone went through the trouble of encrypting something in the first place, do you think someone will have easily forgot the key?

Ignoring the constitutional issues at hand, would this be any different than the FBI forcing someone to hand over the key to a storage locker they suspect have illegal goods in it?

Since they broke one and found stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855039)

1) Why can't they break the rest?
2) Why haven't they charged him yet?

apparently (3, Informative)

kick6 (1081615) | about a year ago | (#43855041)

having an "intricate electronic folder structure" complete with "detailed personal information" is nefarious? Isn't that, essentially, every install of every desktop OS ever? Hell, I think in my 13k file music collection sorted by album and artist there's EASILY 3k folders. And I think elsewhere on the same drive I have my tax returns...

Re:apparently (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#43855099)

having an "intricate electronic folder structure" complete with "detailed personal information" is nefarious?

No, it just proves that the disk belongs to him, and thus with all likelihood also the childporn.

Re:apparently (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43855229)

having an "intricate electronic folder structure" complete with "detailed personal information" is nefarious?

No, it just proves that the disk belongs to him, and thus with all likelihood also the childporn.

Not really - the typical user's Chrome cache has what can be construed as an "intricate folder structure" and "detailed personal information". All it takes is to visit a few websites of any kind with logons and/or forms, and have the browser save your logon names/passwords and form info for a couple of them.

Re:apparently (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43855147)

it is when it is addition to child pornography.

Re:apparently (2)

pavon (30274) | about a year ago | (#43855243)

No, it indicates that these files were intentionally curated child porn, as opposed to files in a browser cache that ended up there accidentally.

hardlinked directroy loop (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43855265)

when they said intricate folder structure with porn my first thought was of xkcd 981.

This is easy (1)

Filgy (2588) | about a year ago | (#43855057)

"Sorry, your honor, but I have forgotten the decryption password." or, actually, that would be stupid since it would imply they are his. It should be "Sorry, your honor, I never had the encryption password". Unless the FBI has concrete proof he actually decrypted them in the past, they're screwed. Go back to cracking away. I also want to know the encryption that they supposedly cracked. Unless it is junk, it is more than likely that they brute forced the encryption passphrase for that hard drive.

It's disgusting if he has CP, but something something plausible deniability.

It's like the IT worker with no morals who quits in an organization where he held all the passwords and then promptly claims to have forgot them all when the company demands them right after they quit. You cannot prove if they were forgotten or not.

Actually refusing to give them out is grounds for legal action in both instances.

Punishment for not complying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855071)

So, anyone know the punishment for not complying vs. the punishment for possession of child pornography? In other words, some people have refused a judge's orders and served out a few years, vs. if this guy does comply, does he look at lots more time?

Personally, I think any child pornographer's are scum of the Earth, but if I were facing serious charges like say murder, and a judge ordered me to decrypt a drive I knew would cause me to be incriminated, I'd tell him to take a flying leap.

Re:Punishment for not complying? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43855159)

You can sit in jail indefinitely for refusing to comply with a court order. You stay until you change your mind or the judge's order is no longer relevant, for example if you refuse to testify in a case, but the trial is over then they let you out. If it's a complicated trial that takes 6 months, then I guess you're cooling your heels without much recourse until then. That is what it means to be compelled by a judge to testify. (criminal contempt)
If you're already being held by police for a crime and you don't want to testify against yourself on a technicality like handing over decryption codes, then there is probably not a lot to lose. IANAL, but I suspect the criminal contempt could only add 4-6 months onto a sentence, and given the controversial nature the contempt charges could be reversed later and potentially could result in a mistrial.

Funny ould world we live in (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855079)

Where pixels of a certain colour arranged in a certain way on a screen and even the bits used to represent them are illegal. I hate kiddy porn as much as everyone else but feck it throwing people in jail for looking at pictures is taking the piss.

Certain letter arrangements made your post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855177)

I only applied a few grams of pressure to the trigger, it's not really my fault the bullet went through his brain.

self-incrimination (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about a year ago | (#43855087)

wasn't there already a case in which being forced to decrypt one's hard drives was deemed self-incrimination?

Re:self-incrimination (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43855143)

wasn't there already a case in which being forced to decrypt one's hard drives was deemed self-incrimination?

Yes, clever boy. Exactly the same case. Because the FBI didn't have proof yet that the drives were his, therefore being able to decrypt them would imply something the FBI didn't know yet. This has changed now; they now know that he was the owner, therefore it is not self-incrimination anymore.

Re:self-incrimination (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43855247)

Because the FBI didn't have proof yet that the drives were his, therefore being able to decrypt them would imply something the FBI didn't know yet. This has changed now; they now know that he was the owner, therefore it is not self-incrimination anymore.

Legal contortionism. How does the fact that the FBI can demonstrate that the drives are his mean that giving them the password is not self-incrimination?

Re:self-incrimination (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855299)

One can own the drives and due to weak encryption have been hacked and illegal evidence made public.

Hi, Dropbox.

Without being observed? WTF? (2)

Ozy311 (846876) | about a year ago | (#43855091)

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that on or before June 4, 2013, Feldman shall do one of the following: (1) meet with law enforcement agents who currently maintain custody of the above- identified storage devices and, without being observed by law enforcement agents or by counsel for the United States of America, enter the appropriate password or passwords into forensic copies of the above-identified storage devices so as to decrypt those devices and allow law enforcement personnel to continue their examination of the files contained therein;

Re:Without being observed? WTF? (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43855189)

It's a kinda roundabout way of saying, "You can't [or at least don't need to] give or show them the secret spell, but you better perform it and release the rune for the witches to see, or may they rain hell on you from every applicable plane of existence."

(Magic analogy, because car analogies are so passé.)

Re:Without being observed? WTF? (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#43855241)

Or else what exactly? This is what I don't understand. What is the threat against him if he refuses to comply? if he already knows they have other images from other drives, he surely knows that he is epically and royally screwed for the rest of his life. So why would he comply?

Re:Without being observed? WTF? (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43855311)

And that is a full violation of the fifth amendment against self-incrimination.

I don't give two fucks if it's CP or terrorism - we have LAWS.

Thankfully, these laws don't stop me from triggering a full economic meltdown.

And that meltdown is coming.

Enjoy being enslaved to China for your food - both you and your current offspring.

Re:Without being observed? WTF? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43855335)

I noticed the lack of prohibiting a keylogger - though technically would(n't?) that count as observation?

Stupid Child Porn Laws (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855105)

So first, this could be drawn artwork, with no one harmed in the process. Its treated the same in the US. That is stupid.

Secondly, when people are harmed to create child pornography, possession and distribution of the evidence is illegal, and comes with very harsh penalties. This drastically reduces what the police can do, while increasing the confidence of the creates that those they sell to won't turn to the police.

Suppose possession of child pornography was legal, but its creation was not (if it involved real people). This would make any one who acquired any perfectly comfortable submitting it to the police, which would drastically help catch those involved.

You could even ban selling it (but maybe not buying it), and make it except from copyright to cut of the funding. Then any child pornography that got out could be legally circulated, so there would be a nice supply, and no demand to create or purchase any, since the market price would be 0, and its also illegal.

Sure, some people would be bothered by having easy access to child pornography, but I consider hiding our societies crimes from public view (and thus allowing them to continue more easily) worse that exposing them for all to see.

This makes no sense (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43855107)

Supposedly they have kiddie pron on the part that's been decrypted. Why don't they just try him on that basis? The excuse for how 5th Amendment protections no longer apply strikes as the worst kind of legal contortionism: http://ia601700.us.archive.org/6/items/gov.uscourts.wied.63043/gov.uscourts.wied.63043.6.0.pdf [archive.org]

Re:This makes no sense (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43855141)

Also, if they actually found kiddie pron on the portion that they decrypted, why hasn't he been charged?

Re:This makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855165)

Agreed- the use of the "forgone conclussion" doctrine to justify the bypassing of the 5th amendment seems a bit strange considering they have not charged him with any crime. If they found child pornography on a decrypted version of his disk, why are they not using that? There is something the FBI Agent's report in the judge's granting of the ex-parte request that is not telling the entire story.

Re:This makes no sense (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43855289)

The police probably have good reason to want access to all the material. It may lead them to the source of these files or even the creators. And now that they have him on possession of kiddie porn, I suppose forcing him to decrypt the rest doesn't constitute self-incrimination (not sure how US law works). And there's no right not to incriminate other suspects.

Interestingly, I recall a sort of similar case here in Europe: a guy was forced to provide financial details; there was a suspicion of widespread tax fraud. The guy was not charged with anything so he had to comply (as he would not be incriminating himself in any crime he was charged with). They found evidence and then charged him on the strength of that. The court ultimately let the guy walk because of the principle of nemo tenetur. The difference is that in the porn case, the FBI already appears to have the goods on him.

constitutional rights should be absolute (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#43855135)

(Note: I am not an american citizen and my understanding of the american legal system is therefore limited)

Constitutional rights in the USA should be absolute. Decrypting an hard drive should or should not be covered by the fifth amendment. New evidence should not change its constitutionality because a judge changed his/her mind. I believe that hard disk encryption is too important in too many cases to let a "local" judge decide whether it is constitutional or not. American citizens (or whatever representative has that power) should ask the supreme court to decide on that matter.

Re:constitutional rights should be absolute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855255)

You are correct. THEY SHOULD BE. My question is why the judge would require him to decrypt any other files when it seems from the summary that "kiddie pics" have already been tied to him. Pile on further counts??? That makes no sense. You got him. Try him, convict him, perhaps offer a chance at an earlier parole if he complies with all the judges requirements (like complete disclosure). ~Though personally I feel that you execute anybody with this shit and not feel a bit of remorse in consideration....~

Re:constitutional rights should be absolute (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year ago | (#43855281)

Lower judges can and do rule on matters of constitutional law. The Supreme Court optionally hears cases in matters that are appealled up the chain. SCOTUS does not have to hear a case, and if they do they do not have to rule.... because once they do rule the matter DOES become absolute. One thing the founders did right was realize that life is not absolute.

Re:constitutional rights should be absolute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855329)

It's a little different since they have a warrant to search and have shown there's probable cause for a crime. Think of it this way; if the FBI has a warrant to search your house you can't create a blockade to stop them from searching. Also it HAS to be decided by a local judge first in order for the supreme court to hear it. They only hear appeals cases and do NOT take on cases directly. The only way to be heard directly is to petition the court and have a justice approve the case to be heard and they rarely do that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedures_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

If Not Then (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43855139)

What's the penalty for saying "No"?

Re:If Not Then (1)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about a year ago | (#43855331)

Indefinite detention for contempt of court until you say "Yes".

If the decrypted version... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855145)

So I just read the judge's order granting the ex parte request, and there is something I am confused about. If the 'limited decrypted version' they supposedly have contained child pornography why is he still not charged with a crime? Something seems fishy here.

"In addition to numerous files of child pornography, the decrypted part of
Feldman’s storage system contains detailed personal financial records and
documents belonging to Feldman"

I'm willing to bet they have the file structure (names of files) but have no actual file data, in which case the governments request would add a lot to the case instead of the "little to none" the judge is using to justify the use of the forgone conclusion doctrine.

Not defending anyone for child pornography, I just like everyone else don't like seeing the forced self incrimination of people using the 5th amendment.

meh (1)

Ruede (824831) | about a year ago | (#43855151)

they decrypted and found cp?
isnt that enough to charge him?

Shenanigans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855201)

If they have an image of a child in a sex act then the guy is done. All they need to do is show the judge 'look what we found' (aka HAVE EVIDENCE) and the guy should be toast. If they really did have even just a SINGLE image he's guilty. They don't need the rest of the drive to convict him.

So that means:

1. What they found is not child porn per se.
2. What they found is 'art' of a nature that would imply that there IS child porn on the drive.
3. They really haven't gotten shit and are throwing a hail Mary.

Its not like the Government can lie to a suspect (they can). But they cannot lie to a Judge (but do).

This case stinks.... if they had the proof they'd show it to the judge. Commence trail by innuendo.

questions (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year ago | (#43855203)

Um, I have a few questions:
1) If they have already accessed one of his drives and found thousands of photos in it, what more do they need to charge him with multiple crimes?
2) From a strategic standpoint, let us say that he a) knows he has illegal photos on his other drives and b) knows he will be charged with possesion of the photos that have already been accessed by the FBI. What possible incentive does he have to do as the judge orders? He knows he will get an incredible prison sentence, probably, but also that he will be charged with being a sex offender regardless. So he decides to sit in jail and ignore the judge. He knows he will never get out, most likely...so how is this not an empty order by the judge?

This is why... (1)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year ago | (#43855213)

I practice stenography. Most people find a file, assume it's just an executable or what not, and move on, never realizing that the incriminating evidence was there the whole time. If this guy really wanted to be a dick about it, he could have taken perfectly benign pictures and changed the file names to sexy 6 year old or whatever these ass hats look at.

Re:This is why... (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#43855291)

I practice stenography.

You can do Shorthand? I'm impressed that you bothered to learn it, what with ubiquitous computers these days.

Not sure what shorthand has to do with disk encryption, though.

Or did you mean "steganography"?

The obvious question (2)

onceler (111704) | about a year ago | (#43855221)

If they have sufficient evidence that both the existence of kiddie porn on the drives, and the defendant's ownership and control over those drives, are "foregone conclusions" (which is the standard that needs to be met to avoid 5th amendment protection), why isn't he simply charged on the basis of that evidence?

Fair enough (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year ago | (#43855235)

FBI got into one of the drives (how is irrelevent). They found kiddie porn.

Now that he can (and will) be proven guilty, not sure if self incrimination is still possible since he is already incriminated. Unless of course there is evidence of further crimes (snuff porn perhaps) on those drives.

Re:Fair enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43855293)

Some perv in the FBI just wants to "finish his collection," most likely.

Time to bust out the Thermite (1)

nehumanuscrede (624750) | about a year ago | (#43855341)

With all the silliness in the courts anymore, looks like in order to maintain any sort of confidentiality we're gonna have to take a chapter from the military's book on how to keep the secret stuff. . . well . . . secret. ( Not their new book mind you, since the Chinese are stealing secrets left and right these days :D )

Radical, probably. Effective ? Absolutely.

Of your hard drive stack, ensure the top slot is available. Open an old drive chassis and gut it. Fill with Thermite. Place said unit above other drives. I leave it to you to figure out how to wire it out to initiate the burn. Perhaps a key or, for the really paranoid, wire it to fire by opening the chassis ( intrusion switch ) or ( insert your own imaginative idea here ).

The idea here isn't to make an explosive, just some molten metal to wreak havoc on the drives below it. See you recover the keys for those. . . .
( Oh and remember, a little Thermite goes a long way. Don't go crazy with it )
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...