There’s a really interesting case being talked about over at the Washinton Post regarding a man who is accused of having downloaded child pornography on his computer and then encrypting it using PGP. This actually has some pretty interesting and wide-reaching implications for citizens in the US. Either a) he has to release the password and self-implicate (assuming he is guilty) b) lie under oath or c) find himself under contempt. This is a tough one.
Personally, I’d feel very uncomfortable holding up freedoms to save a pedophile, but at the same time, there are all kinds of legitimate reasons I may want to encrypt data (I do it all the time for customers, for instance). But maybe a guy has cheated on his wife and doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Or maybe he has a furry fetish and has hopes for a political campaign some day. I’m pretty torn on this issue, unfortunately because regardless of the outcome it can end up being a bad thing. I wish I could call this one a cut and dry case. But either way the outcome will be worth finding out about because either it will be a matter of imprisonment for contempt or a safe haven for anyone doing anything illegal. This will be a landmark case for our industry in many ways, for good or for bad.
Ugh… either way this one leaves a bad taste in my mouth.