Oct 052010
 
 October 5, 2010  Court, Non-U.S.

A teenager has been jailed for 16 weeks after he refused to give police the password to his computer.

Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool, was arrested in May 2009 by police tackling child sexual exploitation.

Police seized his computer but could not access material on it as it had a 50-character encryption password.

Drage was convicted of failing to disclose an encryption key in September. He was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Monday.

Read more on BBC.  Apparently, it’s an offense under RIPA to refuse to provide the password.  This is not the first case of its kind in the U.K.

In a similar case here, the government convinced a court to order a defendant to provide an unencrypted version of the hard drive.   Although civil liberties groups argued that requiring such production implicated Fifth Amendment protections, the judge held that because the defendant had already admitted owning the hard drive and because the government already knew the location of the documents on the drive (if not their precise content), the defendant could be compelled to produce the unencrypted files.

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