The attorney who defended PGP encryption creator Phil Zimmerman in the 1990s, Phil Dubois, is now defending a woman accused of a mortgage scam against Department of Justice demands that she reveal the password to her laptop.
Dubois says, “The government let us know a month or two ago that: ‘We just can’t break this encryption, so why doesn’t your client just give us the password?’ And we said, ‘We don’t think so.’”
He adds, “When I was representing Zimmermann, this subject came up. We used to talk about it. We knew at some point the issue would arise. The government would run into encrypted data, and it would do whatever it could to get in there, including turning to the courts and getting some compulsion order. It doesn’t come as a surprise. Frankly, I’m surprised it took so long to arise.
“The government is trying to expand its power. Back in the PGP days, the government was trying to prevent, futilely, the spread of encryption software around the world. Now they’re trying to increase their power by narrowing the Fifth Amendment. Like the others, the Fifth Amendment is aimed directly at the government, primarily the executive. The executive wants, as it always has and always will, to narrow the Fifth Amendment and thereby increase its own power.”
Read more here, at cnet.com.