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Encryption Piracy The Courts

Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules 149

the simurgh writes: As many who follow the Kim Dotcom saga know, New Zealand police seized his encrypted computer drives in 2012, copies of which were illegally passed to the FBI. Fast-forward to 2014: Dotcom wants access to the seized but encrypted content. 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.
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Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules

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  • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:40PM (#47371387)
    Because it is a test case for the limits of government search powers. What they are allow to do to him, they are allow to do to you.
  • "cannot" (Score:4, Insightful)

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

    There is nothing these governments "cannot" do.

  • 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.

  • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:06PM (#47371597)

    I wouldn't count on it. That guy had more luck than is due, something's really odd here.

    I've followed the whole "Kimmie saga" for a while now. That guy is not lucky, he's DAMN lucky. It's really reaching Rincewind-luck-levels. Every "ordinary" person would either be in jail for the foreseeable future and beyond or would've gotten a pair of fitting cement boots along with a free swimming lesson.

    I don't have an explanation (that I could write down in a public place, at least), but I would NOT count on having the same amount of luck if I were in his boots.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Re:Umm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:26PM (#47371759)

    It's called money. Money and resources buy you freedom. Freedom is not free. Often the price of acquiring money, resources, and subsequently freedom is your head. The Universe may be sufficiently chaotic to be impervious to analytical treatment, but nothing in the rules of physics suggests that there's a lack of consistent rules. There is no such thing as luck. If you insist on calling it "luck", you should at least realize that it applies equally to all.

  • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:26PM (#47371765)

    Every "ordinary" person would either be in jail for the foreseeable future and beyond or would've gotten a pair of fitting cement boots along with a free swimming lesson.

    Every "ordinary" person can't afford the right defense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:45PM (#47371917)

    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 prosecutions and a vast, costly and nightmarish prison system. And it doesn't work. If you want to ruin your life with drugs you may do so with little impediment.

    I come from a place that is now the social equivalent of necrotized flesh; Detroit, where the drug war was fought in earnest early on. I live in the first state to legalize recreational marijuana; Colorado. So maybe there is hope.

    On the other hand, I see the "war on drugs" as just another expression of the growth of the power of the State. There are so many comfortable, well paid and powerful "civil servants" that have so much at stake enforcing so many laws on so many aspects of every facet of every thing that I just don't see how any one large part of it, such as the police state we're nurturing in the name of the "drug war," gets rolled back.

    Not without a major, constitutional crisis level collapse that defunds them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:11PM (#47372081)

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

  • 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.

  • Re: Umm...damage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrBigInThePants ( 624986 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @05:50PM (#47372335)
    Assuming his separation from his wife is not so that she wont go down with the ship and can retain assets etc afterwards...

    I have no evidence for this but I did have to wonder when I heard the news. Also he is cheeky, dodgy and clever enough to do such a thing.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM