if !password goto jail

If you are planning to travel to Great Britain in the near future, better don't take your notebook with you. Since last week, they now have their Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) in action: You now can choose between giving them your password of your encrypted hard disks or goto jail for 5 years. More about it on heise security.

sixteen comments, already:

How about TrueCrypt hidden volumes?
bubu () - 09 10 07 - 17:45

and i thought germany was the only country with such stupid laws xD

question: what is if you dont use a “password” but a fingerprint???
this is no password of the same tenor like a writen one. maybe you can trick the system this way?

anyways thanks for this info!
jens - 09 10 07 - 19:55

Yep. Predictable. Governments think this’ll help when it’ll really just tick off everybody and not catch the badguys. :D
Jonathan Snyder - 09 10 07 - 20:12

So what if you, uh, legitimately forget the password to some archive?
cowsarenotevil - 09 10 07 - 22:47

Besides, why would you ever take your (incriminating) data on a laptop? 8GB USB flash drive or encrypted email. They won’t notice the first (there’s a million places you could carry them on your person or in your luggage), and they would never know about the second (the encryption is to stop nosey ISPs).
Kemp - 09 10 07 - 23:16

If you actually read the only time they would need the password is if had been arrested for something. If your coming into GB with a laptop with a Password or any kind of decryption your fine. However if you are arreseted its now illegal for you to not tell them or unlock any passwords or encryption.
Ashley () - 09 10 07 - 23:40

@bubu: You use truecrypt too? That’s a very nice feature.
bull () - 10 10 07 - 10:05

@Ashley, and if you had read, you would realize that you do not have to have been arrested. They can issue something as vague as National Security to force you for your key. When they do that, they can’t tell you on what grounds they take your key, because it’s classified due to national security.
blah - 10 10 07 - 13:28

Hey, be cool…
This is not the worst thing that can happen. Do you think that somebody there is even interested in your laptop? Don’t overestimate yourself!
It is much worse when government makes people idiots. This is not the case so it is almost fine this time.
Don’t spend your valuable stamina on meaningless things like being angry because of this and talking a lot about it.
Bubla - 10 10 07 - 22:59

@blah: Oh come on with the paranoia! For a person to have to reveal encryption keys he or she must be a suspect under investigation, the encrypted material must have been legally seized during the course of the investigation and the procedure must be approved by the judiciary. Basically at that point the police would have already got the right to take whatever documents they need from the person’s home, safe, computer, etc. This new provision simply fixes a whole in the law to catch up with the evolution of technology.
John B - 11 10 07 - 04:11

Do our laptops or desktops, etc. are checked for everything like pirated software, mailing addresses when we go to USA or UK?
Or do we have privacy. If that is the case then better use linux notebook. that may confuse them.
kinjel () - 11 10 07 - 08:58

@John B, I wasn’t being paranoid. I was merely clarifying something for Ashley. I’m okay with it because it goes through the judiciary, unlike in the USA, where it seems most of nothing gets judicial oversight in the name of national security. That might be where you were detecting the “pissed off” tone from and confusing it with paranoia.
blah - 11 10 07 - 14:53

judiciary, policemen, commissioners… they all can be bought or blackmailed. It is not paranoia, the important thing about privacy is that it allows us (the people) to have a some kind of defense against big government in case it becomes a tyranocracy. A well positioned thug can use this new privacy-breaker law to get rid of its opponents. Privacy makes people high in the government think twice about oppressing the people (i.e.: extending their power) because they don’t know what we can or are hiding.
juantar - 12 10 07 - 03:17

I can see both sides of the argument here, but I’m not too sure what to think of it. One allows serious criminals to hide incriminating information, while the other has innocent people being locked up for 5 years for forgetting their passwords.
I guess you have to rely on the judges, the press, and the officials fear of knee-jerk reactions to bad decisions.
Gaz (link) - 14 10 07 - 17:19

Why not change your password after you have given it to them.. :p
leo () (link) - 17 10 07 - 08:26

You forgot the ”;” ;)
Klara - 18 10 07 - 13:54

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