1997-07-19 - Re: Crypto implants

Header Data

From: “Mark M.” <markm@voicenet.com>
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: f888d0f9e554ab99b07f2e2a2496567ff758bed995a3f2ee5bd68c615535f77b
Message ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.970718192041.3061A-100000@purple.voicenet.com>
Reply To: <v03102817aff57f01f29b@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-07-19 00:19:18 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 08:19:18 +0800

Raw message

From: "Mark M." <markm@voicenet.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 08:19:18 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Re: Crypto implants
In-Reply-To: <v03102817aff57f01f29b@[]>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.970718192041.3061A-100000@purple.voicenet.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


On Fri, 18 Jul 1997, Steve Schear wrote:

> Another civil liberty is the assumption that one owns and controls one's
> body (unless arrested/imprisoned) and the government may not alter or
> injure your body. Most citizens and hopefully the courts would find
> invasion of this most sacrosanct part of one's being are repugnant.
> An implied aspects of the privacy-crypto debate is that
> mechanical/electronic devices outside of one's body are required for use of
> crypto. But what happens if a person's body is augmented for various
> purposes, including data storage, crypto and communications?  Unless a
> proven crime were committed via these devices, is it feasible that a person
> could be forced to submit to removal of an implant or to disgorge their
> data contents?

It depends on the circumstances.  If there was any way to extract the
contents of the implant or decrypt anything encrypted using a key stored
in the implant without resorting to surgery, it would probably be legal
to force the suspect to cooperate (assuming that requiring someone to
turn over a crypto key is legal).  Extracting the contents of the implant
without using surgery is non-intrusive and probably legal.  However, if
the only way to recover the needed data is to physically remove the
implant from the suspect's body (though this wouldn't be very practical
for the user), it would be very difficult for LEAs to do this legally.
In one U.S. Supreme Court decision, Winston v. Lee, it was decided that
the State did not have the authority to require someone not convicted of
a crime to submit to surgery so that a bullet could be extracted from
his body and possibly be used as evidence.  There are exceptions, but
the situation would have to be extreme enough to warrant the severe
intrusion.  I would imagine that this ruling would apply to a situation
where someone had an implant with information that could be used as
evidence.  There isn't much difference, IMO, between extracting a
bullet that has information in the form of caliber and unique markings
useful in a ballistics test and extracting a data implant that has
information electronically stored.

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