article about Air Gapped OpenPGP Key

Chris De Young chd at
Wed Nov 20 00:03:19 CET 2013

On 11/19/2013 3:50 PM, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> then used to do all further crypto operations.  To put the data forever
> beyond recovery, you generate a new nonce, encrypt it with the same
> passphrase, and write it over the old nonce.  If someone demands your
> cryptographic key you can honestly and genuinely give it up without any
> fear of your old data being compromised.  The investigator will be able
> to verify that you've complied with the court's order, and the
> investigator will also be able to verify that you never knew the
> original nonce.

I'd be surprised if this gets you very far in a US court. Technical
details aside, what the court will likely see is that you deliberately
took action intended to put the data beyond the reach of the court in
order to avoid whatever legal ramifications that access might have. The
results of that will probably not be very good (US judges have quite
broad powers when it comes to contempt of court).


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