Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:34 UTC
In the News As none other I know how problematic it is to discuss matters related to politics on the web. However, every now and then, there's no way around it, and this is one of those moments. There's this thing going on at airports in the US, and while many will see it as a separate issue, the body scanner issue, and the sad stories it has spawned, are symptoms of a far larger problem that is a direct threat to everything we've fought for during and since the Enlightenment.
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Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted?

I can answer to this one : they'll put you in jail until you give the key to them.

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.

Back on the topic of plane security, this is exactly the reason why I never travel by plane unless forced to do so (as long as I travel in the EU, the train network is not bad if you don't mind some extra delays for long travels).

In a democratic society, people are innocents unless proven guilty. Without that kind of confidence, no government giving some kind of freedom to its citizens can work. But plane security is often the opposite of that.

Edited 2010-11-17 07:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.


I'm going to assume you are ignorant of the facts and not trying to troll or deliberately misinform others.

The encryption itself, and utilizing it, are not at all illegal in the U.S. If that were the case, no wireless router, no operating system, indeed no automobile would be legal to sell, own or use.

Two things surrounding encryption are illegal in the U.S.: Exporting tools (hardware or software) which enable high-level encryption to certain foreign countries, and using encryption to commit a crime or obstruct a criminal investigation.

In other words, it's perfectly legal to secure your WiFi using AES (in fact one day it may become illegal not to), and it's perfectly legal to encrypt the contents of your hard drive using Truecrypt or similar. It is absolutely illegal to not divulge the key when presented with a valid warrant for the key.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.
I'm going to assume you are ignorant of the facts and not trying to troll or deliberately misinform others. The encryption itself, and utilizing it, are not at all illegal in the U.S. If that were the case, no wireless router, no operating system, indeed no automobile would be legal to sell, own or use. Two things surrounding encryption are illegal in the U.S.: Exporting tools (hardware or software) which enable high-level encryption to certain foreign countries, and using encryption to commit a crime or obstruct a criminal investigation. In other words, it's perfectly legal to secure your WiFi using AES (in fact one day it may become illegal not to), and it's perfectly legal to encrypt the contents of your hard drive using Truecrypt or similar. It is absolutely illegal to not divulge the key when presented with a valid warrant for the key. "

But you're effectively agreeing with the former post.
Regardless of whether the encryption itself or the withholding the key is the criminal offence, either way the police can arrest you if they cannot decrypt your data and you refuse to assist.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Are you sure that there's no limitation on encryption key length (sorry for my choice of terms, that was what I was talking about) in the US ? I thought that was the reason why PGP went into so much trouble...

Edited 2010-11-17 10:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2