Judge rules Truecrypt child porn suspect doesn’t have to give up password

A Florida judge ruled that a suspect involved in a child porn case who had encrypted a laptop and five external hard drives with Truecrypt does not have to give up his password because he is protected by the US Constitution Fith Amendment right not to be a witness against himself.

The man can not be named as he has not be charged with any crime and has now been released from prison where he was being held in contempt of court. John Doe first came to the attention of the police on suspicion of uploading videos of under-age girls to Youtube, the computer IP was traced back to the hotel room where John Doe was staying. According to the ruling it is not enough for the Government to prove that the encrypted drives can store vast amounts of data , the Government would need to show what files are stored inside and the computer forensics expert has admitted that the drives might as well be empty.

This new ruling will help clarify future cases in which someone is compelled to give up his password to law enforcement when requested, at first glance it appears contradictory with an earlier bank fraud ruling where a judge ordered Ramona Fricosu to surrender her password, but they are totally different cases as Ramona Fricosu had been recorded over the phone admitting to hold incriminating evidence inside her encrypted laptop whereas John Doe had never admitted to holding the files the police is after.

One Response

  1. doc 26 February, 2012

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