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Encryption as Evidence of Criminal Intent

From Bruce Schneier's blog (syndicated on LJ as bruce_schneier):
Encryption as Evidence of Criminal Intent

An appeals court in Minnesota has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent.

I am speechless.
Read Bruce's blog entry and comments for more discussion on the topic.

I don't know if I'm speechless or not, but I am more than a little concerned. I'll have to look into the specifics a little deeper, 'cause it might not be as troubling as it appears. For example, one of the comments on Bruce's blog entry attempts to put it in perspective:
This really isn't that big of a deal. This is the same as finding a guy in a car, driving around a residential neighborhood slowly, and finding a ski mask, lock picking tools, and a flashlight in his car. Everything is legal, but may be admitted in court to try to prove criminal intent.

One piece of evidence alone will not help a prosecutor very much, but if you can get enough pieces of the puzzle together, the picture becomes alot clearer. FWIW
Maybe. I can already see that it will be very easy to start down the slippery slope on either side of this argument.

Comments

madkawa
May. 27th, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
Bah! Nothing to worry about here. It's the focus that's got you worried. The media is good at that. Perception nowadays is what they tell you it is. Too many people have to have legitimate encryption on their computers just to operate in a responsible manner. You just can't use encryption that the NSA can't break. :)

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