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Re: COE Recommendation No. R (95) 13

>>9. Subject to legal privileges or protection, most legal systems permit
>>investigating authorities to order persons to hand over objects under
>>their control that are required to serve as evidence. In a parallel
>>fashion, provisions should be made for the power to order persons to
>>submit any specified data under their control in a computer system in the
>>form required by the investigating authority.
>>Is this 'what we would want'? It clearly means that one can be ordered
>>to reveal the password to encrypted data and punished by law if one

Forgive me if this point has already been raised, but couldn't an 
objection to such laws be based on the protection against 

Maybe this all depends on whether the legal context is a civil or a 
criminal proceeding. If I'm being sued and they ask me at a deposition
whether I did such-and-such, I can't take the Fifth (or can I?). But 
if I'm accused of murder, the police can't make me tell them where I've 
buried the knife. However, if I have a wall safe and they 
get a warrant to search it, can I be jailed for contempt if I don't 
give them the combination? 

This seems to be a case where existing legal paradigms ought to 
extend rather naturally. Whether the existing paradigms are any 
good or not is of course a separate question. 

--Michael Smith
  [email protected]