1993-01-22 - Re: public servant privacy

Header Data

From: Joe Thomas <jthomas@access.digex.com>
To: Murdering Thug <thug@phantom.com>
Message Hash: b079ccdf6f3117c862528ea3862269b6c97817a44b3ca90bfb8f947ffd435bea
Message ID: <Pine.3.05.9301211945.B29273-b100000@digex.digex.com>
Reply To: <m0nFB8V-000jpMC@phantom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-01-22 01:03:28 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 21 Jan 93 17:03:28 PST

Raw message

From: Joe Thomas <jthomas@access.digex.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 93 17:03:28 PST
To: Murdering Thug <thug@phantom.com>
Subject: Re: public servant privacy
In-Reply-To: <m0nFB8V-000jpMC@phantom.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.05.9301211945.B29273-b100000@digex.digex.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Thu, 21 Jan 1993, Murdering Thug wrote:

> deltorto@aol.com writes:
> > 
> > Tim May notes (appropriately) that:
> > >>
> > >>Strong crypto means even Ollie North can fully protect his records.

[Jeez, I feel like taking this to alt.cascade...]

> > 
> > Yes, but shouldn't he be _required_ to "open" his files if he is under
> > criminal investigation just like a drug-dealer who's required to open the
> > locked trunk of his car?
> Well, there are really two conflicting issues here:
> 1) The Fifth Amendment - [legal summary elided]
> 2) Obstruction of Justice - [again]
. . . 
> Number 2 may work for law enforcement if they are investigation a third
> party and ask to see your hard disk in order to help their investigation.
> A good example is an Internet site that is being used as a telnet launch-pad
> by some hacker. If that site refuses to cooperate and keeps their files
> encrypted, the police/court may charge you with obstruction of justice or
> contempt of court.  HOWEVER, if you feel that by decrypting these files,
> you would be providing testimony/evidence against yourself, you can plead
> the 5th, and tell them to go screw themselves.

I believe the only way for the autorities to get around that is to grant
you immunity for whatever you reveal (if giving crypto keys is held to be
more like giving testimony against one's self than like opening a car
trunk).  They did it for Ollie North, and he used that to get a later
conviction thrown out.  

To bring this back to crypto, the ability of authorities to compel
testimony from people by granting them immunity is a _great_ argument for
remailers not even keeping records.