this is the key to this case and reasonings behind such a response from court:
> The Government attempts to avoid the analogy by arguing that it does not seek the combination or the key, but rather the contents.
Government had inexperienced prosecutor building case and the judge, rightfully responded to prosecutor request: in order to get the content that prosecutor wants, they need keys. By not revealing keys defendant is using 5th. Everything seems fine, other than I am sure this case will come back and this time prosecutor will wont the keys not the content. This mistake, I think rest assured, will not happen from Prosecutor's part again in this or any other cases.
below is what I started typing but when I read the case again it stroked me as of why we dealing with such a decision. I decided to leave it instead of deleting if you want to read anyways:
First and foremost: I use TrueCrypt. Its amazing, simple, and it works. Just make sure, when converting existing partition, you use at least "3-pass wipe" mode since todays hard disk drives can keep "second layer" of magnetized data you were converting for months giving law enforcement access to your pure data pre-endryption. In my example, I have about 10TB across 8 HDD with my CAD/3DStudio Max work. I also have hours of digital-cam material from 2003 where 15 minutes of recording took 2TB of avi files and I never cared to convert.
Said that, I think in this case the court was terribly wrong and defendant should play lottery first thing he leaves the jail.
> First, the decryption and production of the hard drives would require the use of the contents of Doe’s mind
say what? they asked him for password he knows. He doesnt want to give it out. Court agrees saying that this would require to force defendant to use his mind and reveal information he keeps there and that noone else can access. May I know any court case or any case where defendant brain would not be used?? I dont honestly find a difference between asking him for password and asking him for anything else in any case proceedings. He is unwilling to comply with court, bottom line.
> Just as a vault is capable of storing mountains of incriminating documents, that alone does not mean that it contains incriminating documents, or anything at all.
sure, but if the Government has any other evidence against defendant, the burden of proof should clearly shift to defendant. If, for example Government has ISP logs of tons of torrent data downloaded by defendant router, one can fairly assume that illegal files are stored there. If defendent is not willing to "open the safe" by releasing the key, he should be found guilty by withholding the evidence. -- Just open the damn vault and show those idiots from the Govt & Co how stupid they really are!
rest assured, will not happen from Prosecutor's part
again in this or any other cases
When asking for something, such as a key, the prosecutor has to have at least a reason behind the request (like retrieving the contents of that safe, or hard-disk).
Also, if the legal system is so dumb about semantics such as this, there's now a powerful precedent anyway.
He is unwilling to comply with court, bottom line.
But he has the right to not comply with the court, as then he would incriminate himself. The prosecutor first has to prove that the defendant is actually guilty, otherwise that's just fishing for evidence and crimes committed which may or may not exist. And that's exactly what the 5th Amendment is about.
If, for example Government has ISP logs of
tons of torrent data downloaded by defendant router,
one can fairly assume that illegal files are stored there
That's just stupid. I download everything big from torrents, like Ubuntu Linux distributions ... should that give anybody the right to inspect my hard-drive?
> Also, if the legal system is so dumb about semantics such as this, there's now a powerful precedent anyway.
what do you mean? Prosecution should be asking specific questions, judge should address them. In this example they didnt ask for keys, they asked for the content of the hard drive.
Anyways, yes Prosecution asks stupid questions; even more: they will try to persecute you and put behind bars based on their frivolousness thinking process. This case is a great example: they dont know whats on the hartd drive, but there may be illegal files so yeah lets put the guy in jail.
> The prosecutor first has to prove that the defendant is actually guilty, otherwise that's just fishing for evidence and crimes committed which may or may not exist.
well they had to build a case somehow. something must have gotten them to this guy's door, right?
> That's just stupid. I download everything big from torrents
no, by "tons of torrent" data I did not necessary mean big in size. if his IP was found on plenty of illegal torrents then this was a good enough reason to assume he is downloading illegal stuff [but let alone not good enough to sentence him].