Man jailed over computer password refusal

Nicholas Bohm nbohm at
Wed Oct 6 12:15:48 BST 2010

 On 06/10/2010 09:46, Roland Perry wrote:
>         A teenager has been jailed for 16 weeks after he refused to give
>         police the password to his computer...Drage was convicted of
>         failing to disclose an encryption key...

A sentence of 16 weeks may be a good bargain compared with what he might
have got for a substantive offence if there were evidence hje had
committed one.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that he might have claimed (but
apparently didn't) that following the removal of his computer but before
the service of any notice under RIPA, he had destroyed his only record
of a password of a length and kind that made it impracticable to
memorize (e.g. ten groups of five alphanumeric characters, the sort of
thing often enough found in licence activation keys etc).

The burden of proof that he was lying might have been hard to
discharge.  One wonders how long it will take before we start seeing
such defences in the wild.

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