Defendant's encrypted laptop yields secrets

After seizing an encrypted laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu, prosecutors headed into difficult waters: could she be forced to unlock it? A judge ordered her to give up the password, raising issues of unreasonable search and seizure and the right not to incriminate oneself. Fricosu's lawyers suggested she had forgotten it, but a showdown was averted: she either turned the password over or they figured it out some other way. [Wired]


    1. You mean the “plausible deniability” thing?  Which everyone knows about, so that in countries where “I’ve forgotten” is no defence (which apparently includes the US, now) it’s completely useless?

      Even if you haven’t used the feature, it’s in the cops best interest to assume that you have and prosecute you if you don’t hand over the password.  They have nothing to lose. 

      (It might be an idea to use the feature anyway.  Maybe if you don’t, you’ll be sent to jail for failing to provide a non-existent password….)

      1. The problem with your latter suggestion is that they’ll just think you gave them the password to the decoy partition (whether filled with innocuous files or empty), and so they’ll never think your denial is plausible–even if your denial is an affirmation!

        1. Agreed.  Denial doesn’t work.  What I meant was, better have that hidden partition set up so that they don’t think you are denying when you actually aren’t…

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