It's time for PGP to die.

James Platt james.platt at
Mon Aug 18 19:19:05 CEST 2014

On Aug 18, 2014, at 7:13 AM, Jerry <jerry at> wrote:

> The entire article is available here:
> <>

As the article says, the question of whether the 5th Amendment applies to passphrases remains unclear.  There have been conflicting rulings in various other cases.

The article also mentions the issue of inspections at border crossings which are not criminal investigations.   I discussed this a while back with an ACLU lawyer and his take was that the border crossing is more like civil law than criminal law.  In a civil case, you can assert a 5th Amendment right but then still be compelled to testify (including disclosure of passphrases) if they grant you immunity from criminal prosecution for anything revealed by the testimony.  In this way, the 5th amendment can not protect you from civil liability.  So, if the ACLU lawyer is correct, then you can assert a 5th amendment right at a border crossing to not decrypt your laptop, they could then compel decryption of the laptop on condition of giving you immunity from prosecution.  

We use PGP whole disk encryption for laptops which have HIPAA regulated data on them.  Doctors here have raised questions about whether it’s right for border agents to get access to this data.  

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