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Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules

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  • "cannot" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:44PM (#47371429)

    There is nothing these governments "cannot" do.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:07PM (#47371611)

      Really?

      Ok, challenge accepted: Find me one of THESE governments that can do a balanced budget.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ganjadude (952775)
        oh they COULD do that...but they wont
      • All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington. Apparently, the voters don't really care aboyt that any more once governor gets elected president.

        Interestingly, Vermont owes $13,000 per person, or $30,000 per family. It seems that either you keep the politicians on a short leash (49 state) or allow them to overspend and they'll put you $30,000 in the hole (Vermont).

        A couple of states are debatable as to whether or not their

        • by Anonymous Coward

          All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington.

          Every state gets money from the federal government for things like roads and law enforcement grants. No state has to maintain a military. If states run balanced budgets only because the federal government is handing them money and giving them services for free, is balancing the state budget really that much of an accomplishment?

          • by HiThere (15173)

            Up until the income tax was federalized, the states had much more adequate finances. Admittedly, the taxpayers often refused them access to it.

          • Every state gets money from the federal government for things like roads and law enforcement grants. No state has to maintain a military. If states run balanced budgets only because the federal government is handing them money and giving them services for free, is balancing the state budget really that much of an accomplishment?

            All that "free" money was collected from the taxpayers, and they all live (or exist on paper) in some state. They could have just as easily paid their taxes to their state capitols

            • It could even be better. "All this extra money because bureaucrats and politicians in Washington didn't siphon off a bunch of it for their side projects. Now our citizens can pay us less than they did the Feds for the same services and road repairs!"

            • by ultranova (717540)

              But if your state stopped receiving that money and its residents stopped paying the federal taxes for those uses, and instead those taxes were paid directly to the state, then it doesn't really look all that bad on the books, does it?

              But it also wouldn't be balanced anymore, would it? Because, as you may or may not know, the federal budget is not balanced.

              I realize that on a state-by-state basis there is variance, but add up all 50 and the fed's contribution is less than zero, or exactly zero if they just

              • But it also wouldn't be balanced anymore, would it? Because, as you may or may not know, the federal budget is not balanced.

                You don't know it wouldn't be balanced. If it's important to you to balance your budget (as is the case if you're a state legislator but not the case if you're a US congresscritter) then you'll get it done. You'd have to confront the difficulties that are currently denied and instead turned into costs elsewhere.

                But of course a state government also has overhead; better dissolve it as

                • by ultranova (717540)

                  If it's important to you to balance your budget (as is the case if you're a state legislator but not the case if you're a US congresscritter) then you'll get it done.

                  If it's more important than every other concern to you to run a balanced budget, you'll likely still fail because you're removed from office by a revolution. And a good thing too; as the EU keeps on demonstrating, it's idiotic to worry about balancing the budget in the middle of a depression.

                  I'm merely saying that it's not like the states are

        • by SrLnclt (870345)

          All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington.

          Have you seen Illinois (or many other states for that matter)? Most have no idea what a balanced budget is. Here's an excerpt from some random google search [statebudgetsolutions.org]:

          Top 5 State Debt Per Capita
          Alaska $40,714
          Hawaii $33,111
          Connecticut $31,298
          Ohio $27,836
          Illinois $24,959

          Personally I find Illinois a bit amazing, since it is also the fifth most populous state based on the 2010 census.

          • Illinois is pretty whacked out. The legislators admitted that their budget was unconstitutional, while they voted for it. At the same time, Illinois republicans proposed that they should not get paid until they pass a balanced budget, as certified by an independent third party. Here's hoping we never get any of those Illinois dems in the Whitehouse! Oh, crap.

  • ugh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:45PM (#47371443)

    I don't know who I dislike more in this case. Is there any way we can get Kim Dotcom and the FBI to go all Point Break on each other and get locked into a Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves death spiral except without the single parachute?

  • Because the FBI would get them, despite the court order. Courts have no power to enforce their rulings, and it is pretty plain to see that the current occupant of the Whitehouse doesn't give two shits about laws or court rulings.

    • They'd claim they broke the encryption using some "Super Duper Top Secret Compute Cluster" and attempt to use it
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:54PM (#47371505)

    Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

    There are so many good things that they're supposedly in the business to do: go after child porn producers, rapists, murderers, (actual) terrorists, etc.

    It's stunning that through their tactics (both in the courtrooms and out) and some of the unjust laws they have to enforce, they could actually be viewed as the enemy by a large portion of the public.

    This doesn't feel remotely like a healthy democracy.

    • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:57PM (#47371533) Journal

      Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

      The War on Drugs made law enforcement into the enemy for a lot more people than the War on Copyright Infringement. That's really where the Government started to overreach, in modern times, and if you think what they're doing with cyber criminals (real and imagined) is horrible you should Google "civil asset forfeiture" and start reading.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:10PM (#47371635)

        Yeah... as long as the government uses law enforcement as a form of revenue generation (everything from asset forfeiture to speed traps) and rewards police based on the number of citations rather than some metric of police effectiveness, I will continue to view our institutions as corrupt and law enforcement as the principal instrument of that corruption.

        In a 3rd world country... a corrupt cop pulls you over and you pay him $5 bucks for a bribe. In the US, he gets $5 in salary incentives from the chief. The only difference is that in the 3rd world, it ends at the cop... in the US, the ticket goes to your driving record and insurance and everything else.

        The 3rd world system, in this case, is better.

        • Personally, to me, all of that is peanuts next to random beatings and killings of unarmed, defenceless and subdued people.
          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            What's quite telling (and sad) is that my first impression was that you were not referring to the 3rd world country example.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              What's quite telling (and sad) is that my first impression was that you were not referring to the 3rd world country example.

              Who says the US isn't a third world country?

              • Anyone who has ever defined the term "first world" as either "NATO-aligned countries" or "countries with post-industrial economies". The only people who call the US a "third world country" are people who are using incorrect terminology to describe the issues the US faces.
                • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @07:28PM (#47372835) Journal

                  In Chariman Mao's "Three Worlds Theory" [wikipedia.org] the Two Superpowers (the US and the USSR after capitalism was restored there in the 1950's) are the First World. The second world is the modernized secondary powers (Europe, etc.) The third world is the exploited nations (i.e. most of Africa.) So Belgium and Germany are Second World powers, the US and USSR are the First World.

                  This was in opposition to the classic cold war use of 'Three Worlds' in western foreign policy, which defined the US and allies as 'The First World', the USSR and allies as the Second World, and the rest as the Third World.

                  Your definition is the modern mish-mash defnition from after the decline of the Soviet Union, which comes closer to Mao's meaning, but is still significantly different.

                  And the existence of Mao's theory and the older Cold War definition trashes your 'Anybody who has ever defined the term' claim. I've shown there are at least three ways the term has been used.

                  • You missed my point, and provided an example that does not prove the AC's point even if your reading was correct. Rephrased, I was saying "anyone who has ever defined 'first world' in either of these two widely-accepted ways does not call the US a third world country", not "anyone who has ever used the term 'first world' would consider the US to be one" as you seem to have read it. Beyond that, even if your reading was correct, the other definitions you use all still place the US as a first world country.
        • by arielsom (1636959)
          In the more obviously corrupt countries the grunt cop has an obligation to gather xxx$ of bribes, of which he pays a cut to his boss, who pays his etc. Same difference.
        • by jittles (1613415)

          Yeah... as long as the government uses law enforcement as a form of revenue generation (everything from asset forfeiture to speed traps) and rewards police based on the number of citations rather than some metric of police effectiveness, I will continue to view our institutions as corrupt and law enforcement as the principal instrument of that corruption.

          In a 3rd world country... a corrupt cop pulls you over and you pay him $5 bucks for a bribe. In the US, he gets $5 in salary incentives from the chief. The only difference is that in the 3rd world, it ends at the cop... in the US, the ticket goes to your driving record and insurance and everything else.

          The 3rd world system, in this case, is better.

          Well that's not true. I am sure that police officer is expected to bring in a percentage of his bribe money to his superiors. If he ever wants to be promoted he had better be bribing his bosses!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The damage we're doing to ourselves by trying (and failing) to stop drug abuse is worse than the damage we would suffer without trying. That's been self-evident for at least a quarter of a century, if one only considers "drugs." If one considers prohibition, then we've had ample evidence since the 1930's.

        We're creating a large and violent underclass of convicted non-citizens, a breed of corrupt, heavily armed and very militant lawyer-cops, a distorted judicial system that feeds off revolving door drug pro

      • by ShaunC (203807)

        The War on Drugs made law enforcement into the enemy for a lot more people than the War on Copyright Infringement.

        Anyone who doubts this statement should have a look at this graph [wikipedia.org]. Turns out that "Just Say No" was actually referring to whether or not you wanted to live outside of prison.

    • by sphazell (745128)
      All they have to do is stay out of our lives
    • You're actually highlighting the root of the problem. Law enforcement shouldn't be good or evil. They should be an impartial enforcer of the governments laws. Once we started treating them like some benevolent father figure they started seeing themselves in that way as well.

      Do you lie to your children to keep them safe?
      Sometimes you have to give them a spanking?
      Scheme with other parents on how to keep them safe?
      Pox parties anyone?

      Law enforcements not good. It just is. The fact that most police departments h

      • by Shakrai (717556)

        They should be an impartial enforcer of the governments laws.

        They usually are. That's kind of the problem. This was the best moment ever of The Wire [youtube.com].

      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:14PM (#47371679)

        Not sure I totally agree. The CIA isn't being morally neutral when they torture people. The FBI wasn't morally neutral when they went after Nixon's / Hoover's political enemies. The NSA wasn't morally neutral when they repeatedly ignored the Bill of Rights. Local police officers aren't morally neutral when they form a Wall of Blue. None of them is morally neutral when they lie on the stand.

        Now if none of them did these things, you're right, they'd be a lot closer to morally neutral. But the fact they that sometimes do do these things is I think a big reason they're hated and feared by average citizens.

      • by jxander (2605655) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:40PM (#47372273)

        IMO, you're conflating the roles of Police and Judges. A judge should be impartial and neutral. They determine if laws are broken or if certain acts even violate laws (for any of the myriad events that aren't spelled out to the exact letter in writing, such as TFA) and mete out proper punishment when laws are broken

        Police are boots on the street, and need to be more personal and empathetic. Their role is to keep everyone safe, even if that does occasionally mean keeping people safe from themselves and their own actions.

        And at the end of the day, even if cops and judges were 100% True Neutral, that would be viewed as an overall positive by Joe Public. They're enforcing laws, catching bad guys, not harassing law abiding citizens, keeping us all safe, etc. The filter on my water pitcher isn't inherently good or evil. It simply does what it's designed to do: impartially filter out the crud I don't want to drink. And I appreciate this action. I like my water filter.

        But as with all things, money infects the proceedings. Police chiefs need money for brib^H^H^H^H campaign contributions, to ensure whoever gets elected lets them keep their cushy job. Elected official like to run with campaign puffery like "we caught 10x more criminals during my term, as compared to the previous mayor." So the order of the day becomes less about protecting people, and more about gotta catch em all. Get as many tickets as possible. Invent some new illegal-thing so that we can arrest people. Install red-light cameras, despite the fact that they increase accidents and endanger the people. Who cares about that, they practically print money.

        Add in the War on (Drugs, Terrorism, etc) and we've built a very hostile relationship between police and civilians. Police and judges are no longer performing the actions for which they were designed.

        • by chenjeru (916013)

          Police are boots on the street, and need to be more personal and empathetic. Their role is to keep everyone safe, even if that does occasionally mean keeping people safe from themselves and their own actions.

          Sorry, but that's not true in the US. I agree that it SHOULD be their role, but cops are there to enforce the law, not to keep you, or anyone else, safe. http://www.freerepublic.com/fo... [freerepublic.com]

          • by jxander (2605655)

            Agreed. That is my "in a perfect world" version of what cops are. I probably just didn't phrase it well enough.

            • Agreed. That is my "in a perfect world" version of what cops are. I probably just didn't phrase it well enough.

              But in your perfect world, would we even need cops?

      • that the Feds have an honest to god propaganda news agency working INSIDE THE US

        Yeah.. there sure is.. Its what *was* the "4th Estate", then later, the "Mainstream Media"... It's now become the "US Department of Propaganda".. Herr Goebles, Hitler's propaganda minister would have been soooo proud at how far America has come to towards what Der Fuerer was working for....

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Law enforcement shouldn't be good or evil. They should be an impartial enforcer of the governments laws.

        Because telling what's already a bunch of jackbooted thugs they should just follow orders is going to improve things.

        Once we started treating them like some benevolent father figure they started seeing themselves in that way as well.

        The proper term is "public servant".

        It's no longer a government of the people... it's a government to control the people.

        US government is "of the people". But the people ha

    • This doesn't feel remotely like a healthy democracy.

      Well you answered your own question...

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:25PM (#47371757)

      There are so many good things that they're supposedly in the business to do: go after child porn producers, rapists, murderers, (actual) terrorists, etc.

      It should be noted that the 'federal government's law enforcement agencies" have nothing to do with murderers or rapists, unless they perform their crimes on a federal reservation. Normally, that sort of crime is handled at the State or local level.

    • Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

      Floods can help to irrigate land and forest fires clear away deadfalls, but I don't think many would say the positives outweigh the negatives.

    • The sad fact is that your justice system is totally broken, and it probably has been since you've been hanging horse thieves on nearby trees.

    • by The_Noid (28819)

      This doesn't feel remotely like a healthy democracy.

      That's probably because the USA is not a democracy: http://politics.slashdot.org/s... [slashdot.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But hey, I'm just gonna leave this USB stick here on the table while I go pinch a loaf. Just be sure you don't look at the contents or anything while I am gone...

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:04PM (#47372037) Journal

    > "A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI."

    Yeah. Like copies of the drives can't be forwarded... to... the FBI...

    Wait.

  • While it doesn't kill the US prosecution dead (these jackasses will pursue it until the day they die if you let them), it DOES take a gelding knife to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought with all the NSA acquisitions that the US wouldn't need this information and they could just decrypt it using their own methods. Especially if they have had it in encrypted for for such a long time.

    • Think "Ultra".
      Kim DotCom is small potatos to the NSA.
      They aren't going to give away their shooting stand just to get a shot at him
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI.

    So what? A court ruled that the FBI that they could not take copies of the HD out of the country, a ruling that was promptly ignored. What makes you think the US government is going to honor this one?

    • The ruling is aimed at the NZ police. The US government will honour the ruling for as long as nobody is offering them access to the encryption keys.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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