Child porn suspect jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt hard drive.

heehee

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jul 31, 2006
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Same country as Santa Claus
I can't think of which side to lean on for this one but it's sad he hasn't been charged with anything, not contempt, not child porn but he's jailed indefinitely.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/child-porn-suspect-jailed-for-7-months-for-refusing-to-decrypt-hard-drives/

The suspect, a former Philadelphia Police Department sergeant, has not been charged with any child porn crimes. Instead, he remains indefinitely imprisoned in Philadelphia's Federal Detention Center for refusing to unlock two drives encrypted with Apple's FileVault software in a case that once again highlights the extent to which the authorities are going to crack encrypted devices. The man is to remain jailed "until such time that he fully complies" with the decryption order.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,967
1,639
Australia, Perth
I can't think of which side to lean on for this one but it's sad he hasn't been charged with anything, not contempt, not child porn but he's jailed indefinitely.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/child-porn-suspect-jailed-for-7-months-for-refusing-to-decrypt-hard-drives/
not charged,,, that's best to hope for..

jailed for 7 months, doesn't seem right.... not 7.... but i wouldn't be exactly crying over this. Spend time in jail, but as long as you don't charge me for my own personal use, that's fine... Even i'd be happy to go to jail.. Least its not longer..
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
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I can't think of which side to lean on for this one but it's sad he hasn't been charged with anything, not contempt, not child porn but he's jailed indefinitely.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/child-porn-suspect-jailed-for-7-months-for-refusing-to-decrypt-hard-drives/
Regardless of opinion, he has been charged with contempt of court, which does have no maximum sentence. Whether the court had the power to find him in contemp is a whole other question.

One of these cases needs to make it to SCOTUS for an actual ruling on encryption. Having only read the one linked article it's hard to say if this is the right case.

There needs to be a formal decision based solely on whether courts have the power to force one to unlock encrypted devices. And if so, then under what circumstances. It is a very complex situation and the last thing needed is rash decisions.

I for one can see cases when it would be justified and many others when it wouldn't.
 
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Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
Obama made it legal so it's all good.

he should be charged or let go.
No, he was found to be in contempt of court, so he is rightly jailed until he complies with the court order.

Whether that original order is valid is another question. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama - you're letting your hatred shine through again.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
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Criminal Mexi Midget
No, he was found to be in contempt of court, so he is rightly jailed until he complies with the court order.

Whether that original order is valid is another question. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama - you're letting your hatred shine through again.
facts are hate? :rolleyes:

the original order is not valid IMHO. did this man invoke the 5th?
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
facts are hate? :rolleyes:

the original order is not valid IMHO. did this man invoke the 5th?
As I've consistently said, he was found in contempt, whether the original order is valid is another legal question all together. But by refusing to comply he has legally been jailed until he does.

And no, facts are not hate. Your attempt to link this mans detention with Obama, when Obama has not changed the law regarding contempt merely highlights your extremely biased hatred of the president. It does you no service and undermines any points you may have - at least be intellectually honest.
 
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jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
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As I've consistently said, he was found in contempt, whether the original order is valid is another legal question all together. But by refusing to comply he has legally been jailed until he does.

And no, facts are not hate. Your attempt to link this mans detention with Obama, when Obama has not changed the law regarding contempt merely highlights your extremely biased hatred of the president. It does you no service and undermines any points you may have - at least be intellectually honest.
my post was replying to this
#4
Infinite jail time without a court date, without bail, without legal aid.
so in that regards linking Obama happens to be in context.
 

nebo1ss

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,735
1,242
I can't think of which side to lean on for this one but it's sad he hasn't been charged with anything, not contempt, not child porn but he's jailed indefinitely.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/child-porn-suspect-jailed-for-7-months-for-refusing-to-decrypt-hard-drives/
Where is all this constitutional protection you are suppose to have in the USofA. It never ceases to amaze me some of the crazy laws in the USA. I read recently about a man who stole $10 candy and was facing a life sentence. This was based on him being a repeat offender. Previous crimes all involved stealing Candy. Of course none of the wall street banks ever gets charged with any crime.
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
my post was replying to this

so in that regards linking Obama happens to be in context.
And yet have zero bearing on this case.

The fact this man is being held indefinitely has nothing to do with Obama at all. The fact you are trying to misconstrue the facts does say a lot - and none of it good.

We get it, you don't like Obama but trying to shoehorn him into this case is dishonest.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
facts are hate? :rolleyes:

the original order is not valid IMHO. did this man invoke the 5th?
Indefinite detention only applies when it concerns itself with acts of terrorism. This doesn't make it right, but it means it's not applicable to this case here.

Though you are right about one thing, being forced by the court to decrypt your hard drive under threat of punishment would be in violation of his 5th amendment rights. The court can't hold him in contempt.
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
Though you are right about one thing, being forced by the court to decrypt your hard drive under threat of punishment would be in violation of his 5th amendment rights. The court can't hold him in contempt.
This is what makes these cases so fascinating. Consider a serial offender (rapist/murderer/child abuser or whatever). So police investigate and have enough evidence to get a search warrant. During that search they find a diary/videos clearly implicating the defendant. That is all good.

Now if that's hidden in a locked box, can they cut the lock? What if there's another box inside with another lock? And so on.

In this case I simply don't know enough to judge. But I can certainly see cases where forcing someone to decrypt a hard drive would be acceptable. Plus many times when it wouldn't.

That's why a SCOTUS ruling is needed. What power does the state have? And under what circumstances?
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
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CT
Why is he a suspect? Do they not have solid evidence that this dude is in possession of child porn. Unless the judge gets a search warrant I don't know that they have authority to demand he open it.
 

lowendlinux

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
5,155
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North Country (way upstate NY)
Why is he a suspect? Do they not have solid evidence that this dude is in possession of child porn. Unless the judge gets a search warrant I don't know that they have authority to demand he open it.
I'm not sure that even with a search warrant they can make him open it. The encryption on my laptops hard drive is 16 digits I'm not convinced that's even crackable in my lifetime. Jailing people without charges for pleading the 5th is not acceptable no matter charge him or GTFO.
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
I'm not sure that even with a search warrant they can make him open it. The encryption on my laptops hard drive is 16 digits I'm not convinced that's even crackable in my lifetime. Jailing people without charges for pleading the 5th is not acceptable no matter charge him or GTFO.
Having now read the court documents this case becomes even more interesting.

The prosecution has provide evidence (how I do not know, but accepted by the court) that there is child porn on those drives.

The police have a search warrant and are claiming, as per previous cases, that refusing to open these drives is tantamount to refusing entry to your home for a legal search.

The defendant has NOT been denied his 5th amendment rights as the previous SCOTUS case found that providing access to encrypted drives does not equate to testimony merely surrender.

So in effect the prosecution is saying we saw you take kiddie porn into your house, we have a legal search warrant and you are refusing us entry to you home. Therefore you're in contempt.

Merely opening these drives is not self incrimination, how the kiddie porn got on those drives is the determining factor.

As I've said, a very interesting case and one that hinges on some intriguing legal doctrine.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
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1.And yet have zero bearing on this case.

2.The fact this man is being held indefinitely has nothing to do with Obama at all. The fact you are trying to misconstrue the facts does say a lot - and none of it good.

We get it, you don't like Obama but trying to shoehorn him into this case is dishonest.
1 take it up with the person I quoted.
2. did Obama make indefinite detention w/o trial legal yes or no? again I was responding to a post made, you are the one doing the mental gymnastics here.
[doublepost=1461866863][/doublepost]
Having now read the court documents this case becomes even more interesting.

The prosecution has provide evidence (how I do not know, but accepted by the court) that there is child porn on those drives.

The police have a search warrant and are claiming, as per previous cases, that refusing to open these drives is tantamount to refusing entry to your home for a legal search.

The defendant has NOT been denied his 5th amendment rights as the previous SCOTUS case found that providing access to encrypted drives does not equate to testimony merely surrender.

So in effect the prosecution is saying we saw you take kiddie porn into your house, we have a legal search warrant and you are refusing us entry to you home. Therefore you're in contempt.

Merely opening these drives is not self incrimination, how the kiddie porn got on those drives is the determining factor.

As I've said, a very interesting case and one that hinges on some intriguing legal doctrine.
if the prosecution has evidence, then WHY do they need the contents of the HD? sounds like he said/she said, the man should not be forced to hand over the contents IMHO.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
38,980
Criminal Mexi Midget
Congress did. It's their job to pass laws.

Obama can be blamed for allowing it through without a veto, but that doesn't make it solely his fault.
I did not say it was just his fault. ;)

most of congress should be in jail. IMHO anyways.

as despicable as the charges are against the child molester, I don't think he needs to provide access to those HD's.
if they prosecution has evidence they should nail him based on that evidence.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,371
UK
1 take it up with the person I quoted.
2. did Obama make indefinite detention w/o trial legal yes or no? again I was responding to a post made, you are the one doing the mental gymnastics here.
[doublepost=1461866863][/doublepost]
if the prosecution has evidence, then WHY do they need the contents of the HD? sounds like he said/she said, the man should not be forced to hand over the contents IMHO.
Isn't it better that they make the strongest case they can? Especially with double jeopardy.
 

Limey77

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2010
103
974
1 take it up with the person I quoted.
2. did Obama make indefinite detention w/o trial legal yes or no? again I was responding to a post made, you are the one doing the mental gymnastics here.
[doublepost=1461866863][/doublepost]
if the prosecution has evidence, then WHY do they need the contents of the HD? sounds like he said/she said, the man should not be forced to hand over the contents IMHO.
1. I believe the person you quoted misunderstood the case and you were the one to try an blame Obama.
2. No, not at all in cases of contempt.
3. You'd have to ask the trial judge but the court's decision clearly states that there is evidence and that it is a "forgone conclusion" that there is porn on the drives.

Your assessment of this case is way, way too simplistic. Even if he opens the drives he can still plead the 5th.

Now what authority the courts have regarding encrypted drives is a fascinating legal discussion.

If the police know for a fact that a suspect has a child locked in the trunk of their car but that trunk is locked by an encrypted passcode should they have the right to force it open? Should they be able to force the suspect to open it? What if they refuse? Must they just let the kid die? Would the suspect be right to claim the 5th in refusing to open the trunk?

It is a much, much deeper and more profound question than you are trying to make it - even without your misguided attempts to blame Obama.
 
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