Thu 31 May 2007
Paul Ohm and I wrote an amicus brief in the 10th Circuit case of US v. Andrus, the opinion I wrote about in last week’s Wired News column. In the case, the defendant’s aged father gave officers permission to search his adult son’s computer without a warrant. The father, however, did not have the authority to consent and the computer was password protected. The officers used EnCase, which is not limited by password protection, and have thus successfully claimed that they had no reason to know that the father was locked out of the machine did not have the authority to allow their search.
If you are interested in the brief, which discusses why the Fourth Amendment requires that digital locks be treated the same as physical locks as well as the hypocrisy of investigators who claim EnCase gave them no clue that the father was locked out of the machine, while routinely using the very same program to identify passwords and permissions for the purpose of proving ownership of contraband files, you can download it. (pdf)
I link to the original decision and my column from this earlier post.