nothing so dramatic

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Thu May 5 07:32:28 CEST 2011

> "A federal judge has ordered a criminal defendant to decrypt his hard
> drive by typing in his PGP passphrase so prosecutors can view the
> unencrypted files, a ruling that raises serious concerns about
> self-incrimination in an electronic age."

That court's opinion was predicated on the fact Boucher had already waived his right against self-incrimination, and for that reason there was no constitutional violation.  It's sort of like testifying in court: the government can't force you to testify in your own criminal proceeding, but if you waive that right the government can cross-examine you.  Likewise, if you *voluntarily give the government your child porn*, you can't really claim that "I'm not going to provide the government with copies of that child porn, because that would incriminate me."

_Boucher_ is nowhere near the death knell for privacy that some people seem to think it is.

(ObDisclosure: a couple of years ago I helped prepare a law review article on _Boucher_.)

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