This applies not merely to Bob in Accounting that's a dick, but to everyone: Congress! Start sniping political enemies. A jump drive here. A hard drive there. Soon, you could have 6 or so Congressional individuals going to jail for a child porn ring. The Feds would think it's a great prisoner dilemma. No one's turning on each other. Again, anonymous tip claiming that the right honorable Representative Duggans was watching kiddie porn late at night in his office. The same tipster told the police that while he was jacking it he thanked Representative O'Connel for the present over the phone (make sure to wait for an actual call so their is evidence).
Sure eventually all of this will die down. Until then, for $100 bucks and a few hours you can sit back, eat some popcorn and watch the system implode. Do it right and you'll get years of fun for everyone.
So do I. There is a selection process. It is not selecting for non-criminality. It isn't selecting for criminality necessarily either, but it certainly is not strongly selecting against, in the sense intended.
* The accused admitted to knowing the password and refused to provide it, on the auspices of not wanting investigators snooping through his files. Only later did they claim to have "forgotten" it.
* Prosecutors entered into evidence multiple factual claims establishing that the accused knew the password; for instance: years of eyewitness testimony demonstrating the accused entering the password from memory.
Whenever you get to an alarming conclusion like "this means forgetting the password to your laptop means life in prison", chances are, you've missed relevant details.
Since the user hasn't been made to recall the password for months, it's plausible that he forgot it. I know I have personally forgotten passwords to accounts after months of disuse.
For instance, I had an old yahoo email account for many years. I didn't use it for about six months before they announced they would start re-purposing accounts that went unused for more than a year. I was unable to remember the password as well as the email account I had associated with that account for password reset. I ended up losing the account.
Tech people have a bad habit of pretending that the uncertainties that our work generates are the first uncertainties the court system has ever dealt with.
But most of criminal law turns in large part --- mens rea --- over a court making decisions about what's in the head of the accused!
I would interpret what is happening as a de-facto trial by judge, not peers, and thus a deprivation of liberty without due process of law, which must include a trial by peers.
That doesn't stop all these uncertainties affecting the outcome ("and the prosecution would like to note that the accused didn't provide the password, pretending that he doesn't remember it/know it" can turn jurors against someone, even if its BS).
How many people were accused and convicted with BS technical certainties (but actual scientific uncertainties) like the bogus "hair matching"?
(Plus practices like the death penalty, private prisons, abuse of solitary confinement for long periods, down to contractors overcharging 10x for prison phone calls. One would compare that with the 3rd world, not the modern Western world).
If anything it needs more limitations to prosecution and uncertainties that work in favor of the state, not less.
The court system didn't make sentences too long. They were dragged there, kicking and screaming, by a polity that overwhelmingly demanded tough-on-crime statutes and tough-on-crime prosecutors, and passed laws to ensure that the courts complied.
This argument is besides the point, though. I'm not saying that contempt rules are OK because the underlying crimes require the state to prove mens rea. I'm saying, the court has for centuries been charged with ascertaining truths that are in some sense unknowable, because they depend on determining what someone was thinking. This isn't a new challenge for the court.
I just had to reset passwords to gitlab root and root on docker image after other admin went on holiday for 3 weeks and forgot both...
>Whenever you get to an alarming conclusion like "this means forgetting the password to your laptop means life in prison", chances are, you've missed relevant details.
Unfortunately responses like the parent comment are predictable on HN. There is the constant narrative that the government is out to get us all. Yet the example given is someone who already has a lot of evidence of child porn, and a frickin police officer no less.
(edit: replaced punishment with detainment, it's probably more neutral)
Yes, probably. I'm not really convinced that this isn't a violation of the fifth amendment, but I'm not a lawyer.
I suspect a jury would find him guilty anyway, and the fact that he refuses to decrypt his hard drive will likely not help his chances of convincing a jury that he's innocent.
(Subtextually, I'm saying: the punishment isn't infinite.)
He's in possession of data deemed contraband, but apparently not linked to distribution. The police need to demonstrate possession and can do so when their search is complete.
The police did an investigation, obtained a warrant to search for the contraband and seized the hard drive. The defendant was ordered by the judge to decrypt the drive per the warrant, and refused to follow the order. He's in contempt of court, and he can get out of jail very easily -- by complying with the order.
nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself
The privilege against self-incrimination applies to any interaction which they introduce into evidence against you in a criminal case, or from which they derive information on which they then gather other evidence that is used against you in a criminal case.
It doesn't actually protect you against the police doing anything, or forcing you to provide information (other Constitutional provisions may, however), it just protects you against certain information being used against you in criminal court.
No, Miranda vs. Arizona set standards for how 5th amendment protections apply in a criminal case, and established remedies for violation of those protections in such case.
And historically, from Jim Crow laws, to J.E. Hoover and McCarthy, and onwards to Snowden, this is wrong, because?
Most of the examples you gave are historical. Regarding Snowden: has anything been used against anyone? I'm not condoning the snooping, BTW.
I think when you compare the US government to the likes of Russia and China, you'll see that the US is really not "out to get you". Certainly in this case it's pretty obvious that the govt isn't out to get an innocent person. There is a lot of strong evidence already that he has been collecting child porn. That of course doesn't mean that illegal procedures should be used to obtain more evidence, but we shouldn't get hysterical about it and say that the govt is going to use this to frame innocent people.
Historical doesn't mean "belonging to lore" or "ain't gonna happen again". It precisely means "this things happen". And I don't consider stuff from 40 and 60 and 80 years ago as "deep history", like it's the Roman times or something and now we're totally different. In some cases those that did or suffered those things are still alive. In others, their direct 1st-gen legacy (sons, proteges, people they mentored etc) still rule.
>I think when you compare the US government to the likes of Russia and China, you'll see that the US is really not "out to get you"
Not sure what this means. With 25% of the world's inmates in only 5% of the world's population, I'd say it's very much out to get a heck of a lot of its citizens. And in prison conditions that compared to places like Germany or Sweden are like third world dungeons. The only way not to see this is to conveniently consider all those people are somehow subhumans, or criminals who "deserve it" (then one has to wonder why in the US 10x more of the population "deserve" such a fate compared to those in the German or the French population).
Or maybe let's talk police shootings? One is much more probable to get shot in the US ('walking while black' et al) than most parts of the world, China and Russia don't even compare.
Or are those not part of the government, and those laws and that climate is not fostered by government policies and political demagogy?
Have you any evidence that the US Government has changed their modus operandi?
Programs like COINTELPRO weren't public knowledge until some time afterwards, ditto "rendition" of terrorism suspects for overseas torture. Snowden has demonstrated that your Government still engages in widespread illegal activity.
I'd say the only reason such abuse seem "historical" is that we're unaware of the abuses going on right now.
That's my point. The US government may or may not be mildly abusing it's citizens by spying on them illegally, it's hard to know. Compare to Russia or China where it most certainly is vehemently abusing people it disagrees with.
Also, I think the rendition was only for non-citizens. The US doesn't really give much of a shit about you if you're not a US citizen.
Was OP's comment edited after you replied? I read nothing implying the OP concludes forgetting one's password means life in prison. I read a seemingly tongue-in-cheek, obviously hyperbolic bit of nonsense about using this as a vector for watching the world burn because people couldn't prove otherwise. Sure, OP is stretching for effect, but it doesn't seem OP missed relevant details.
No, but that's what can happen if providing a password becomes mandatory.
E.g. are you really able to carefully craft a filesystem image that you're sure has no metadata that proves the innocence of the suspect?
Cached images has been enough to put away more than a few folks - there was also recently a story about using exactly that tactic against a suspected spy.
Yes of course you can get an active MiTM session going you can do a lot of shady stuff.
And MiTM is far too simple to do. One of my friends was able to rickroll many a person with about $100 of gear. It was always troubling to watch my computer connect to my home network while at a conference, with no real notification to me.
So data has become new drugs ;)
Also in this case the prosecution apparently has a bit more information that just "he did it":
A subsequent forensic exam of his Mac Pro computer revealed that Doe had installed a virtual machine ... the examiner found one image of what appeared to be a 14-year-old child wearing a bathing suit and posed in a sexually suggestive position. There were also log files that indicated that Doe had visited groups titled: “toddler_cp,” “lolicam,” “hussy,” “child models – girls,” “pedomom,” “tor- childporn,” and “pthc,” terms that are commonly used in child exploitation.
... The exam showed that Doe accessed or attempted to access more than 20,000 files with file names consistent with obvious child pornography... and that he used the external hard drives seized by Delaware County detectives to access and store the images.
Perhaps you have too much faith in law enforcement, or I have grown too cynical by what I perceive as the dawn of a new era of police states.
The police have a fundamentally different argument here than "it happened to be in his possession".
However, that does not mean we can or should change the rules (or define new rules) to put him in jail. I'd prefer they use another way to convict this guy. I'm also careful not to condemn a suspect based on what the media reports about him and his case (the court of public opinion is a dangerous thing).
The fifth amendment is one of the few defenses you can call on when facing the incredibly skewed US legal system, and should not be chipped away at, even in a case like this.
I'm not sure why the case has to stop while the drive remains encrypted then. If they do get the drive decrypted and find nothing (perhaps he held no files and is protesting against forced decryption or they simply have the wrong drive) that will hurt the prosecution.
To me, the judge has basically said you can be locked up indefinitely for accessing suspicious file names. I'm not going to lie though, 20,000 entries would make me pretty fucking suspicious. I think almost all of us would immediately report that to the cops if we saw that in our networks without verifying what's inside.
You can overcome the fingerprints by handing things out for free. Here's a jump drive from some corp. You can also it in a cup holder. The person would touch the jump drive while being a bit perplexed. If you know the person, you can probably get them to hold it for you by simply handing it to them.
Yes, you have to be more involved, but at the same time it's doable.
If it is a "foregone conclusion", then they should have no problem convicting the guy without forcing him to testify against himself. If it is not a "foregone conclusion", then they have been lying and are illegally (unconstitutionally) depriving him of his freedom for months, without even charging him with a crime!
So that's their basis for this "foregone conclusion" apparently. That at one point in time it was witnessed.
That is very dangerous logic.
The sadest thing in this is that it took child pornography to make the headlines, not political activism or journalism but the most despicable crime in our modern society.
I (can only) presume that this is not something easily comparable to a murder. This is more like catching someone with illicit drugs, where the possessed quantity can be essential to establishing the due penalty.
Also, every prosecutor in history has thought their entire case in chief was a "foregone conclusion." That's totally irrelevant.
Source: Foucault's Discipline and Punish
As much as I'm not on board with "confession through torture", I wonder if non-boolean guilt could help sort out some of the dumber quirks of our legal system. As is we just have "innocent" and "guilty" (which is either 51% chance of guilt in civil cases, or 'beyond reasonable doubt' in criminal ones).
But we're clearly fumbling around for new values. The Supreme Court decision about retrials (that "probably would have been found innocent at original trial" is not enough to justify a retrial) clearly makes more sense in terms of real-valued guilt - we can then set some actual standard for retrial, which is different from the standard for conviction. Perhaps you get convicted at 90% guilty in criminal cases, but don't get to open a retrial unless your estimate drops to 70% guilty.
Now I'm fascinated. What would real-valued guilt look like in a modern system?
Every year, rhinos in Africa are threatened by poachers in Africa who want their horns for the black market in China. Every person who buys rhino horn in Africa, every person who is in a position to fight the unnecessary consumption of endangered animals and doesn't, is complicit in the destruction of their species.
You don't get a pass because you aren't the one who actually killed the rhinos, or abused the children. Those rhinos wouldn't have gotten killed, those children wouldn't have gotten abused, if the demand weren't there. You don't get a pass because you "needed" rhino horn, or because you have a non-standard sexuality.
The only socially-acceptable response to your needs is to not contribute to the exploitation of others.
The rhino equivilent would be if you wanted to use rhino horn but because you know it would be wrong to, you never do use it. Not only are you not the one shooting the rhino, you're not creating demand for shooting rhinos either.
Citation needed for that "plenty".
The pigeon makes reference to a child gymnast, then there's the comment about hitting on a teen boy. Humans, generally, first learn about physical desire and sexuality in their adolescence (specifically during and following puberty). Sexual attraction for individuals with the characteristics we initially found attractive, never really leave our psyche. This puts most humans in the category of "paedophiles" in the sense that the attraction is there, albeit small. It's such a culturally understood concept that I'm surprised when it has to be explained.
> The rhino equivilent would be if you wanted to use rhino horn but because you know it would be wrong to, you never do use it.
I would argue that both of these things are wrong, though not as wrong as actually acting on the desires. I don't think there should be any legal consequences for the thoughts in your head, but the social stigma and pressure to change those thoughts is very much needed and is a useful social tool for protecting vulnerable classes.
Let's introduce another analogy. Racism is wrong, if you think racist thoughts, even if you never act on them, then you are contributing to the denigration and subjugation of people of color. The only socially-acceptable response to having racist thoughts is to work to change those thoughts.
Paedophilia may be sexuality, and yes, it was wrong to demonize homosexuality, but unless you're arguing that one day we'll look at paedophilia the same way, then you can't put them in the same boat morally.
Celibacy is an acceptable response to paedophilic sexuality, but a better one is to stop being a paedophile. Sex therapists exist, it is something you can work on. It's worth it to at least try.
How so? I sometimes think racist (and sexist, and...) thoughts, but I know they are wrong, so I don't act on them. How am I contributing to the oppression of people of the ethnicity I have racist thoughts against?
(Incidentally I think "people of color" is a pretty racist term, since it lumps all non-white ethnicities together.)
>Paedophilia may be sexuality, and yes, it was wrong to demonize homosexuality, but unless you're arguing that one day we'll look at paedophilia the same way, then you can't put them in the same boat morally.
Well I do argue that. Just as homosexual rape is a crime (although often treated as a joke, c.f. prison rape), child rape is a crime. No matter the sexual orientation of the perpetrator.
>but a better one is to stop being a paedophile
Since when can sexual orientation be changed? According to Wikipedia:
There is no evidence that pedophilia can be cured. Instead, most therapies focus on helping the pedophile refrain from acting on their desires
So do I. Whenever I do, I work to try to understand where the thought came from, and how, if millions of people also had that same thought, what the consequences for minorities would be. I feel it's my obligation to understand the deeper psychological dynamics at play.
One's thoughts can't be controlled like one's hands can be, but that doesn't mean you can't work on them.
> (Incidentally I think "people of color" is a pretty racist term, since it lumps all non-white ethnicities together.)
More racist or less racist than the n-word? And why would lumping them together be racist? Terms by themselves are not racist, it's how you use them that matters.
> Well I do argue that. Just as homosexual rape is a crime (although often treated as a joke, c.f. prison rape), child rape is a crime. No matter the sexual orientation of the perpetrator.
Still waiting on the argument that we'll one day be as accepting of paedophilic sexuality as we are of homosexuality. Yes rape is a crime, but criminality is not the point of contention here, morals are. You and others seem to be arguing that morality is not useful as a social tool, that one should not feel bad about thoughts that one has that could exacerbate social problems. That we should draw the line at legal consequences for actions and treat the mind as sacrosanct. I very much disagree, racism has taught us that the law can itself be used to perpetuate evils.
> Since when can sexual orientation be changed? According to Wikipedia:
Thanks for the pointer to Wikipedia. (not being snide, I didn't do my research before opening up my mouth this time) It still looks like an active area of research and I'm hopeful that new therapies will emerge in the future.
I do think sexuality is at least somewhat malleable. I could never see myself becoming homosexual, but I can easily see how I could have been or could in the future become bisexual. I would be adding a new sexuality on top of my old one, figuring out a new way to have that experience.
I fail to believe paedophilia is the only mode of sexuality that's open to most or even a significant fraction of paedophiles.
I won't go into a long story but TLDR: I thought of myself as gay from puberty until a couple of years ago, I am now entirely bisexual. I don't know if the side of me that is attracted to women (I'm a guy) didn't exist a decade ago and my sexuality changed, or if it did exist and I just didn't know how to access it. But it certainly was a definitive change, previously there just wasn't any sexual feeling towards women in my head, ever. Despite this personal experience of sexuality being malleable in at least some form, I am still entirely confident that homosexuality (including the gay side of bisexuality) cannot, at least with our current scientific knowledge  be purposefully changed, and while I'm lucky enough not to have a personal anecdote about paedophilia, everything I've read up on the subject makes me believe the same goes for that.
 I say current scientific knowledge because who knows, maybe in X years/decades/centuries we'll fully understand the human brain and be able to modify it as precisely as you can modify a computer program. Setting aside the fact that this advance in science/technology would probably do far more to scare me in terms of how it could be used negatively vs. benefits such as removing the attraction to children from paedophiles, since we are no where near being able to do this we might as well keep the debate within the frame of what we actually can achieve in the foreseeable future.
> I fail to believe paedophilia is the only mode of sexuality that's open to most or even a significant fraction of paedophiles.
It's known that there are paedophiles who no matter how hard they try, and get supported with therapy/etc., never find themselves attracted to adults. It's also known that there are paedophiles who find adults as attractive as children, or also attractive but more/less so than children. It's very hard for anyone to find out how many of each because paedophiles in general often prefer not to talk about their condition, even to medical professionals, and especially paedophiles who can be happy in adult relationships probably don't have much motivation to think about fixing their attraction to kids, since they can have a sexually-fulfilling life without them.
(Incidentally, my gay->bi sexuality is why I find the subject of paedophilia from a medical point of view fascinating, since it does seem that they are very similar things biologically, just not culturally. And no, I don't mean that because they are similar biologically that they should be similar culturally, I fully approve of saying homosexual relationships are good and adult/child sex relationships are bad.)
Someone who reads sick fiction and or looks at man made images is hardly harming anyone. I mean Vorarephilia is also a thing, and they can get off watching monster movies. But, there are very few actual cannibals out there.
At best you could make a comment based on reproductive success in our culture. But, I have trouble going from there to paying to lock people up.
I agree. That's why I said that people shouldn't be subjected to legal consequences for their thoughts. They should definitely not be morally absolved.
> Having violent thoughts about people is very common, acting on them far less so.
I would argue that a person that looks at paedophilic content is arguably being violent themselves. If you went to a ancient Roman gladiator arena and eagerly watched the bloodsport, or to a current-day dogfighting event as a spectator, then you are participating in the violence, even if you aren't actually conducting any of it. What separates bloodsport from horror movies is that in movies, nobody is actually getting hurt.
There is definitely a relative aspect to right and wrong, and we all have ways in which we are wrong. It's important to recognize what is wrong and what is right, and to work to become more right over time.
Now, extend that to fringe Anime and there is now sick content that's was not harmful to create. I don't see how your suggesting there is an actual difference between movie types assuming all actors are adults and blood was faked etc.
Fake content isolates negative aspects of experience and presents it in a comforting bubble where you don't have to contemplate all of the nasty context surrounding the portrayal if it were real. As content acquires more reality that bubble is progressively burst.
I've watched lots of questionable content over the years, but the things I've seen that have left the nastiest impressions were always real or based on the real. The audio of the Jonestown massacre was among the most horrifying things I've ever came across.
If you're watching real content of real kids really getting abused, that's probably one of the worst things you could ever do short of actually doing what was in the video. But the difference between enjoying that and the less graphic is one of degree and not kind.
Can you make an argument that easily accessible kiddie porn is going to reduce child violence? Even if you could, I would hesitate to make even the fake stuff legal unless the science was very conclusive. I'd argue that with kiddie porn, the default should fall on 'no' and not 'yes'.
That said, it's really difficult to draw a line here. Content creators are going to find ways around any laws we pass. That's why we need a moral component, so that we can enforce these things not just legally, but also socially.
Sure, it's easy to make a counter argument along the lines of "Making things taboo adds to their appeal. Supervised underage drinking seems to have a long term positive impact." However, that's also meaningless unless you study the issue.
I really don't know, but I also accept I don't know.
PS: This is one of those issue people don't approach rationally. It's as if gathering evidence is already admitting you might be wrong.
That's a false dichotomy. We cannot have perfect knowledge about everything that could possibly help or harm society. We need to retain the ability to act in its absence.
> I really don't know, but I also accept I don't know.
Not all things should be treated this way, but in the case of kiddie porn, I'd argue that defaulting to the stance that all conduct in this space being morally wrong, perhaps even criminal, is justified.
It's tempting to want an ideological framework that preserves sanctity of thought so that we don't have to consider that we, ourselves might be morally wrong on occasion, but the world doesn't work that way. The mere fact that millions of people want something is enough to create a market in violence and suffering. Whether it's children, rhinos, or slaves. (I use market in a non-economic sense here, any venue for satisfying a desire is a market)
However, as something to consider. There is a very long history of things people assume without evidence being wrong. Abstractly, unsupported ideas are random in nature and the number of true ideas are vastly outnumbered by the number of wrong ideas. So, IMO the default assumption for unsupported ideas should be they are false.
Anyway, nice chatting with you.
Look, at some point this is going to boil down to a simple question. Do you really consider sanctity of thought to be more important than the security of the people those thoughts threaten? Because to a very, very real extent, the thoughts themselves threaten. They create threatening atmospheres and markets in cruelty and suffering.
We're not talking about rights here. We can fight paedophilia completely within the current constitutional framework using completely aboveboard laws. We are talking about nothing more than social pressure of making people feel bad about thoughts that they have that are bad. Simple, uncomplicated moral pressure.
Sex with children is wrong and you deserve whatever happens to you if you do it. Can you at least agree with that?
A peasant picks up a rock and due to a local legend decides it prevents tiger attacks. So, they carry it around for the rest of their lives. Not a big deal right?
Well, what if they have their tiger rock, hippo rock, fire rick, snake rock, cancer rock, martian rock, ... Until they are not willing to leave the house without 150 pounds of rocks in a backpack.
Individually each issue may have been tiny. But, each and every one of them are also a drain. Also, they may get eaten because they falsely assume they are safe when in imminent danger. Or in this case you might assume your fighting when in fact your just making things worse.
So, even if the cost is low and it might be true, avoiding wrong ideas is still valuable.
PS: As to actual direct harm, sure shoot em. But, that's really not what I have been talking about.
Of course that hinges on the fact that you accept that morality is a cultural construct and not absolute, which is a philosophical rabbit hole.
You've implied that there are perfectly normal people who choose a career in child abuse for the money.
This subject is yet another instance of society's moral panic "war on X", collateral damage be damned. I mean, who cares about the absurdity of persecuting possession of information, those people are fucking revolting!
Somewhat unrelated (I'm not trying to set up a straw man here), I believe that it's more consistent to believe that society finds paedophilia to be disgusting and that due to their disgust that paedophiles should be jailed. I believe that this is due to the conflation of thoughts with actions, and the belief that someone with those thoughts will always be prone to action. It's a somewhat risky viewpoint to espouse that "paedophilia in and of itself should not be illegal, abuse of a victim should" given the fervor of the people against paedophilia, but I think it is more congruent with a living in a free society. It's a shame that anyone suggesting nuance there is usually then associated with paedophiles in the mind of the person hearing the argument.
There is abuse of children, then there's the act of making recordings of it for others to consume. The latter certainly functions on a demand curve, as it takes more work to produce something than it is to just do it.
> How does this argument explain the illegality of drawings depicting underage sex with none of the depictions being based on a real-life individual?
There probably isn't much rationality to it. Legislation is more of a political process than a rational one.
> I believe that it's more consistent to believe that society finds paedophilia to be disgusting and that due to their disgust that paedophiles should be jailed.
I would agree with that assessment. But there's also a shocking amount of truly, unbearably horrific content in the world. Disgust may not be the most rational basis to make something illegal on, but it's better than nothing. Laws are intended to be iterated on over time, a more nuanced view will eventually prevail, though it might take decades.
> It's a somewhat risky viewpoint to espouse that "paedophilia in and of itself should not be illegal, abuse of a victim should" given the fervor of the people against paedophilia, but I think it is more congruent with a living in a free society.
Paedophilia is not illegal. It's child abuse and possession of child pornography that's illegal. You can't convict someone of being a paedophile, there's no law against it.
With the Rhino argument, the entire reason for the act occurring is economic (kill rhino, collect horn, get paid). For paedos, the act occurs because they want to do it. Being able to gain social standing or affirmation is secondary. People record child pornography for posterity without distributing it.
> There probably isn't much rationality to it. Legislation is more of a political process than a rational one.
Agreed, and that is the thesis of my argument.
> I would agree with that assessment. But there's also a shocking amount of truly, unbearably horrific content in the world. Disgust may not be the most rational basis to make something illegal on, but it's better than nothing. Laws are intended to be iterated on over time, a more nuanced view will eventually prevail, though it might take decades.
Disgust is not a reasonable basis for making something illegal. At a bare minimum, I believe that the first amendment rights of people drawing depictions of child abuse are being violated. But it's "icky" and not politically viable to defend, so nobody defends them.
> Paedophilia is not illegal. It's child abuse and possession of child pornography that's illegal. You can't convict someone of being a paedophile, there's no law against it.
Possession of something that depicts, but is not, child pornography is also illegal (and to your point, irrational to make illegal).
At the risk of losing my footing to try to make a point, I think it's somewhat similar if someone said "Being homosexual isn't illegal but engaging in any act whatsoever, whether it victimizes anyone or not, is." We've already ruled that sodomy laws violate people's constitutional rights. I'm not saying that paedophiles should have the right to express their affinity with children (they cannot consent), but removing all outlets for it smacks of trying to pray the gay away.
I think our nation would be far more sane if we decriminalized mere possession of child pornography, as disgusting as it is. I would rather have my fifth amendment right not to decrypt a drive than catch people that have not directly (and I would argue also not indirectly) harmed anyone by viewing images.
Doesn't matter, this material leaks out into the world and becomes part of sharing networks. In these networks, paedophiles can live and participate in a world in which these thoughts and this behavior is OK. With social validation eventually comes boldness and the willingness and desire to create ones own content.
Do you have a hobby? I like food. I like talking about food, cooking food, I take pleasure in being able to discern subtle flavorings in dishes and having an appreciation for real Chinese food as opposed to bland American Chinese shit.
All of that time and effort I put into food, there are vast numbers of paedophiles that do this for videos of children being abused. Without the moral stigma, these people will get bolder and bolder, and before you know it, there's a paedophile political lobby just like the gun and homosexual rights lobby.
Is this a world you want to live in? Countenanced with this, is disgust as a source for the political capital to fight paedophilia really such a bad thing? Do you really want to grant legitimacy to that way of life? Because that's where your line of thought goes.
Yes, it's awful that if you are wired that way, you're pretty much fucked and that's terrible and I feel bad for you. But it's really, really morally fucked up and repugnant and wrong to allow yourself the inner freedom to explore your sexuality on these networks if that's the case. You deserve to be locked up and shamed if you give in to your urges.
There's no easy way through this.
Also torture, wars of aggression, mass poisoning...
But maybe also that it's more relevant today due to the people being more informed and connected.
So I was actually separating it in its modern form from much older issues like war, torture and poisoning for example. But that's a non issue really, sorry for unclear phrasing.
We're unlikely to get it both ways: both a right to strong encryption without government interference and a right to defy court demands to decrypt specific files. But we'll see.
I know for myself, even with passwords I use multiple times a day from memory, it only takes a couple of months of not using them before I cannot recall them again. This guy has been locked up for 7 months.
See also the numerous people who stored bitcoin in brain wallets (bad idea), who now cannot reclaim their money despite considerable financial incentive to do so.
If cryptography introduces too many new cases of contempt, we'll need to rework the contempt system, and, in particular, introduce juries to the process (perhaps for contempt sentences exceeding a certain number of weeks).
Yes, precisely. This is a specific point I have seen programmer types uniquely vulnerable to tripping over.
Courts, generally, aren't like computers, where a little technicality will override common sense completely in a literalistic following of instructions. Sure there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part a court proceeding has humans running it that live in the actual society and have some ability to factor in not just the rules but also the consequences, including unintended ones, of their actions.
True, and in rare cases where something like that does happen, it's probably going to be a lot more amenable to sensational reporting, so more likely to be widely reported.
You have the timeline reversed. He's been locked up for 7 months because he refuses to decrypt the drives.
What about the plausible deniability that is provided by some encryption softwares (Truecrypt was one of these when it was still relevant and considered secure, I don't know about current ones)? If the suspect decrypts an encrypted volume and can deny plausibly that there is another one hidden within, is he supposed to remain in jail until he decrypts a volume providing evidence of crimes he might have committed?
In my opinion this is the reason why "I have forgotten the password" should be accepted as an answer, for the two situations are similar: either there is enough evidence to convict the guy and other evidence is not really needed, or there is not and the burden of the proof should not be on the suspect.
1) There is a proper verdict that the person has actually defied the court (as opposed to forgotten the password or the encrypted data not being his in the first place) - this has not happened in this situation, we have only claims by the prosecution not verified by the court;
2) the guilty person receives an appropriate punishment for this crime - and indefinite imprisonment (e.g. life sentence if the person doesn't yield) is not valid even if the person is guilty of everything claimed.
"That guy's totally guilty" isn't a basis for any kind of prejudicial action - either you have enough info to try him, or you don't have enough info to hold him on suspicion.
Though we all hate the underlying accusation and no one wants to protect this kind of activity, it is important that the government play by the rules. To do otherwise sets the precedent for future abuse on less heinous cases.
Decrypting his hard drive may lead to other charges against other people. If he knows that he can incriminate others, he may be waiting for a deal.
They're playing hardball with him right now. After six months in jail, watch them offer him a deal if he unlocks the hard drive. He gets a firm but reduced sentence (including time served) and they get more bad guys.
(Why yes, I have watched too many episodes of Law & Order, why do you ask?)
They won't get 'more bad guys', they just want to prove that they can do this to anyone who doesn't obey.
Since child porn is illegal just about everywhere (although the definition of "child" may vary), it should pose no problem to notify the authorities in the country of origin.
The new age model is to convict ten innocents than let one guilty suspect go.
Guilty unless proven otherwise. That's what constitution says.
This cannot exist on "dumb" hardware.
Obviously not if the government needs the suspect to tell them where to find the porn in the keyspace. The porn at this point literally does not exist on the computer. The government is asking the suspect to find it for them there.
So the question here is; can the government compel someone to help the government find evidence against them?
This reminds me of something a Pakistani coworker said. He said that in the area of Pakistan he grew up in they had the best police force anywhere. There were no unsolved crimes. Someone always confessed...
So this is the same sort of thing. Torture someone long enough with indefinite detention and they will eventually come up with something to indict themselves with. There has to be something illegal in any well used computer.
Prosecutors need sufficient evidence to obtain from a judge warrants, and in this case a decryption order, before they can hold you in contempt of court.
Of course, the evidence required for a warrant is still typically less than what is necessary to convict. The issue here is something to do with fifth amendment rights, which honestly I don't know a lot about because I'm Australian.
I've travelled with encrypted drives where I didn't know the password before. (Forgot it & was bringing the drive to someone for their own use after formatting).
No, forgetting your password is not a lifetime sentence. No, not knowing the password for an item you've never seen is not a lifetime sentence either. Refusing to obey a judge's order, however, will get you in trouble. Again, these people are not morons, and if they say the guy is only pretending to have forgotten his password (a dishonest criminal? shocking), they might have a good reason.
Even if you think that chances are high that the guy both is guilty of some crime and remembers the password, that still leaves the "what if he is actually innocent and actually forgot his password" case. Indefinite prison sure seems a hard sentence in the latter case, which you cannot refute beyond reasonable doubt.
They even went so far as to say he always got it right on the first try.
I found that very interesting... How would they possibly know that? If they had a key logger obviously they would already know the password.
Does FileVault store some indication of failed login count? That isn't reset after a valid login?
If yes, than one could store a real secret X and store a false secret Y, something that looks like a secret enough to be perceived as a secret. Then in case of torture, government persecution, etc, the victim could reveal only Y.
> Within the virtual machine the examiner found one image of what appeared to be a 14-year-old child wearing a bathing suit and posed in a sexually suggestive position. There were also log files that indicated that Doe had visited groups titled: “toddler_cp,” “lolicam,” “hussy,” “child models – girls,” “pedomom,” “tor- childporn,” and “pthc,” terms that are commonly used in child exploitation.
> The exam also found that Freenet, the peer-to-peer file sharing program used by Doe to obtain child pornography from other users, had been installed within the virtual machine. The exam showed that Doe accessed or attempted to access more than 20,000 files with file names consistent with obvious child pornography... and that he used the external hard drives seized by Delaware County detectives to access and store the images.
They have a pretty strong amount of evidence that what's in those drives will be CP.
What this means is that by running a single freenet node you can monitor half a hundred others. What's surprising is that it hasn't been done earlier. You don't even have to commit a crime to do it as a civilian.
This could have been avoided if freenet was hoisted on top of tor (not totally trivial because freenet runs over udp) or had an onion routing layer of its own. If the glaring privacy flaw was fixed freenet would have amazing properties which tor lacks, namely very safe and scalable (no dos unless you take down the whole of freenet) static hosting and non-realtime communication in general, and utter censorship resistance. Trying to figure out who has a blob only spreads it around more.
It's a shame the ideas behind tor and freenet haven't come together in a popular project.
Would someone continue to be held in contempt if they furnished a decrypted drive that didn't contain the information that court held as a "foregone conclusion" that it contained?
(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding [F15the appropriate maximum term] or to a fine, or to both;
(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
[F16(5A)In subsection (5) ‘the appropriate maximum term’ means—
(a)in a national security case [F17or a child indecency case], five years; and
(b)in any other case, two years.
Simple. Imprison someone for two years. Demand they provide key material again. Rinse and repeat.
> In fact, Doe had multiple layers of password protection on his devices, and he always entered his passcodes for all of his devices from memory. Doe never had any trouble remembering his passcodes (other than when compelled to do so by the federal court), never hesitated when entering the passcodes, and never failed to gain entry on his first attempt.
And that was without going to prison
Yep, LUKS AES-256. I seem to recall someone demonstrating how to crack LUKS for fun, but I can't remember where I found that article, nor enough keywords to find it again. I might just be failing at Google, mind.
But the point is, after many months (eg 7) plus stress... many people would. Not everyone, but enough people that I don't think you can blanket say "you surely know it, hand it over".
I keep going over where I went wrong in the exams I did a month ago and I've already had the results with all at 90%+ (yeah r/iamverysmart, I know)
There was one rather important password that I hadn't used in a few months before I needed it. I tried for a week to remember before eventually resetting it.
Of course, if I were arrested tomorrow, I'd be able to remember my master password. I'd probably still remember it a month from now too, but a few months later not so much.
So the question is: if he was lying at first, but now no longer is, what does that mean for him, legally?
That situation seems a lot less abstract and certainly less disconcerting than being jailed indefinitely for not remembering a passphrase (or claiming you can't).
Is nobody else alarmed that OS X apparently logs any and all( or at least 20k records )file accesses by default? This is way too many to be found in the HFS journal, so it's clearly intentionally logging all accesses.
Edit: They also appear to have been able to deanonymize the defendant's FreeNet usage, though this could have easily been OPSEC violations rather than technical shenanigans.
As for "land of the free", that's propaganda.
At least in the US, there's an absolute right against self-incrimination, guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. The higher courts have been pretty clear, going all the way back to combination locks, that coercing a password would constitute requiring a defendant to incriminate him or herself.
The actions of the judge should be overturned based not only on existing precedent, and principles of fairness and good faith, but also because they violate the privilege against self-incrimination.
Huh? What gives you that idea (at least for Germany , Switzerland, France(-ish), etc. it is demonstrable false)?
Even the European Court of Human Rights holds that you have the right to remain silent despite there not being a article specifying this as such.
 And it does indeed extend to passwords here
That is extremely different than a prohibition against self-incrimination.
In France, you actually have to take the stand at trial. However, if you do so under the coercion of the court, you cannot be prosecuted for perjury for anything you say during your testimony. So essentially you can lie, in matters both small and large.
In Germany they are not allowed to do that (the police might tell you that, but they tend to be somewhat misleading).
> That is extremely different than a prohibition against self-incrimination.
And this prohibition is actual a central principle of the German law system (and the right to remain silent follows from this).
And the common advice from lawyers here is exactly the same as it is in the US, do use the right to remain silent. Even if you are innocent.. you have nothing to gain by talking (especially without lawyer present).
The fact that he is being compelled to offer evidence against himself seems like the dubious part of this whole proceeding.