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Encryption Crime United States

Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013 115

Posted by timothy
from the achievement-unlocked dept.
realized (2472730) writes "In nine cases in 2013, state police were unable to break the encryption used by criminal suspects they were investigating, according to an annual report on law enforcement eavesdropping released by the U.S. court system on Wednesday. That's more than twice as many cases as in 2012, when police said that they'd been stymied by crypto in four cases—and that was the first year they'd ever reported encryption preventing them from successfully surveilling a criminal suspect. Before then, the number stood at zero."
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Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

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  • Re:I smell a rat. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:03PM (#47379737) Journal

    There are obviously thousands of people using encryption because they have a legitimate reason to hide something

    My hard drives are encrypted simply because my entire life is on them and I'd rather not have everything you need to steal my identity fall into the hands of whomever broke into my house and stole my PC. I take similar precautions with physical documents that could be used to the same end. My SSA card and Passport are kept in the Safe Deposit Box except when needed, other forms of ID are always kept on or near my person, so they're not apt to be stolen in a burglary.

    I don't know or care if LUKS and Truecrypt are secure enough to resist access by a well resourced and competent government agency. They provide ample security for the threat vectors that I care about.

    Most people under investigation have software planted on computers or hardware keyloggers.

    This, along with other side channel attacks (social engineering, or even simply guessing the password, remembering that most people use easily guessable passwords) is the most likely explanation. If the United States Federal Government has ways of breaking modern ciphers they're not going to throw it away to secure mundane criminal convictions.

  • Re:I smell a rat. (Score:5, Informative)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @05:31PM (#47379867)
    that is somewhat bullshit.

    9 times out of 10, someone trying to crack your encryption is not going to be someone who is able to use that amount of leverage. Most likely they are going to subversively copy your data, or

    As far as I am concerned, I don't need my encryption to completely uncrackable. If all encryption does is provide tamper evidence, and doesn't allow undetectable snooping I am OK.

    Also, ability to crack encryption in an investigation/forced to decrypt for trial, is not the same as undetectable mass survailence. If all encryption does is force cops to go back to needing warrants and subopeanas, and due proccess, I think its done its job quite well.
  • Re:I smell a rat. (Score:4, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @06:31PM (#47380247) Journal

    > 9 times out of 10, someone trying to crack your encryption is not going to be someone who is able to use that amount of leverage.

    It's not about having that kind of leverage. In an interrogation, a cop is not required to tell you the truth. Never forget that.

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