Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Somebody Please Tell Me This Is A Joke

A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent.
[...] "We find that evidence of appellant's Internet use and the existence of an encryption program on his computer was at least somewhat relevant to the state's case against him," Judge R.A. Randall wrote in an opinion dated May 3.

Randall favorably cited testimony given by retired police officer Brooke Schaub, who prepared a computer forensics report--called an EnCase Report--for the prosecution. Schaub testified that PGP "can basically encrypt any file" and "other than the National Security Agency," nobody could break it.

The court didn't say that police had unearthed any encrypted files or how it would view the use of standard software like OS X's FileVault. [...]
The original case was, of course, an Internet child-porn conviction. So now, just because I have a copy of PGP on my computer, which I installed for legitimate business purposes, a court can argue that it's evidence of my criminal intent.

If they're going to call me a criminal just for doing my job, then I might as well become a professional criminal.

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