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Saturday, September 29, 2012

US Judiciary Leans Towards Disclosure Laws That Could Confiscate Electronic Assets

Jail time for refusing to comply with mandatory key disclosure hasn't occurred in the United States yet. But, it's already happening in jurisdictions such as the UK, where a 33-year-old man was incarcerated for refusing to turn over his decryption keys and a youth was jailed for not disclosing a 50-character encryption password to authorities. Similarly harsh, key disclosure laws also exist in Australia and South Africa which compel individuals to surrender cryptographic keys to law enforcement without regard for the usual common law protection against self-incrimination. – Forbes Dominant Social Theme: If you encrypt it, it's good as gold. Free-Market Analysis: Here's something we don't ordinarily see in the mainstream press: thoughtful, even courageous, reporting. The author of this article, Jon Matonis, has pointed out that where cryptography has succeeded, authoritarianism must eventually follow. In fact, his point is even more subversive: Successful encryption PROVOKES the state. Using Tor encryption, many currently feel secure about their state of affairs. But the rampant state in the 21st century has the answer to this: It will simply arrest you and throw you in jail until you render your "key" unto Caesar. Here's some more from the article: Key disclosure laws may become the most important government tool in asset seizures and the war on money laundering. When charged with a criminal offense, that refers to the ability of the government to demand that you surrender your private encryption keys that decrypt your data. If your data is currency such as access control to various amounts of bitcoin on the block chain, then you have surrendered your financial transaction history and potentially the value itself. These laws will impact not only money laundering prosecution but almost any asset protection strategy that attempts to maintain an element of financial privacy such as private banking or family trusts. Prior to all these money laundering laws being enacted, I once heard it said that the practice of moving money around was simply referred to as banking. More

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