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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the oh-yeah-forgot-to-mention dept.

United Kingdom 374

judgecorp writes "Syed Hussain, already serving time for helping to plot attacks against UK targets, got another four months for refusing to divulge the password of a USB stick the police and GCHQ wanted to examine. The USB was believed to contain data about a suspected fraud unconnected with national security, and Hussain claimed to have forgotten it under stress, He later remembered it and it turned out to be a password he had used on other systems investigated by the police."

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Cry me a fucking river... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976419)

So an actual terrorist (for once) refused to divulge a password to data on a USB stick and now libtards are all butthurt that he got charged with the Limey Brit version of Obstruction of Justice.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 9 months ago | (#45976429)

No, just an ordinary fraudster, not terrorist.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45976449)

No, just an ordinary fraudster, not terrorist.

Hmm, not what the article says. I'm not sure what compelled you to post that.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976505)

Chalk said the USB contained material linking the defendant to an alleged fraud. He added that it was only when investigators told Hussain he was being investigated for fraud that he gave up the password. Investigations into the alleged fraud are ongoing.

The memory stick did not contain any information on potential threats to national security.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 9 months ago | (#45976509)

It's right there in the article summary:

The USB was believed to contain data about a suspected fraud unconnected with national security.

Human beings are capable of doing multiple things, and thus getting multiple criminal charges against them, at once. He may well be a terrorist, but this particular story deals with fraud.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45976689)

But, that's not what the GGP said. They said "not a terrorist" and "orchestrating a car bomb plot" is pretty much straight terrorism, uncut.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976807)

Even so the law was brought in intended for dealing with terrorism threats. Although the suspect was involved in terrorism this specific investigation was not. Therefore this is that police power being used in a broader sense than it had been intended. Got no problem with the guy being sentenced for terrorism or for fraud, but the slippery slope of the usage of this power is disturbing.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (-1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#45976843)

Sure, fine, but if you're going to state your case, it shouldn't be the literal opposite of the truth, which can be reinterpreted to raise valid questions.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45976667)

From TFS: "already serving time for helping to plot attacks against UK targets"

You didn't even need TFA.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 9 months ago | (#45977051)

Anyone who commits a crime can be considered a terrorist it's actually a fairly broad term.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977155)

Anyone who commits a crime can be considered a terrorist it's actually a fairly broad term.

I've always said jaywalking was destroying this country.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45976451)

Yeah, those libtard founding fathers and their prohibition against self-incrimination. What a bunch of moonbats.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (4, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 9 months ago | (#45976545)

This is in the U.K.

So the USA is all libertard? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976663)

Or is it that only UK libertards are angry?

Basically, your "response" makes no sense. The founding fathers would be 100% as worried at this story as any "libertards" AC whined about.

So how does this being in the UK change that?

IT DOESN'T.

Ergo the AC was calling the founding fathers libertards.

And because that whine appears to support the idiocies of the rightwingnuts, you just don't see it.

Worse, you think that "It's the UK" changes a damn thing.

Re:So the USA is all libertard? (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#45976721)

It was a pretty obvious reference to the American Founding Fathers (the UK founding fathers would make no sense in this context) and the US Constitution/Bill of Rights. The fact that it's in the UK means that the American Founding Fathers and Constitution is irrelevant to this story.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976717)

Even in the UK you have the right against self incrimination.

Our right may be spelled out in our Constituion, but they have the right none the less.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 9 months ago | (#45976743)

Except where Parliament otherwise decides, like in this case.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 9 months ago | (#45977105)

The point is that the U.K. Parliament is sovereign. That is there nothing that prevents Parliament from passing any law, and nothing one Parliament can do that prevents a future Parliament from changing it's mind, with the single proviso that the current monarch is willing to put their signature to whatever piece of legislation Parliament puts before them.

There are basically only two ways out for the U.K. at this point. The first is a full blown revolution which would most likely be extremely unpopular. Revolutions are almost never quick and clean. The last time we tried (aka the interregnum) it lasted just over 11 years.

The second option is to persuade the current and future monarchs to reserve certain powers (aka the ability to overrule certain pieces of legislation) to themselves when they reconstitute parliament after every dissolution (any parliamentary election in the U.K. is preceded by the dissolution of the current parliament) and hope that the courts and police will go with it.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#45976745)

This is in the U.K.

Yea, about that: I always understood the US Constitution to be based, essentially, on English Common Law.

That said... don't you guys have some sort of 5th Amendment equivalent?

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 9 months ago | (#45976847)

Yes, we can choose to not testify in court. However, once you turn up at court to testify, you cannot then refuse to answer some questions.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977109)

This is where I have a problem with the courts interpretation of the 5th in the US. Either the right to deny self-incrimination exists or it doesn't. I can either hold my tongue, or not. I don't agree with the mantra, 'this information isn't being used against you, so you must talk", which we often see when people are held in contempt for not talking. It's one thing, if there are secondary witnesses to yourself, however if I'm up there on my own with me as the key, and no others, I don't agree that I should have to divulge. IMO, it goes against the grain of liberty that the US was supposedly founded on.

I think part of it goes to the 'social contract', meaning, if you choose to live in society, you are expected to give pass on certain liberties that you'd normally retain as an individual. Either way, the 5ths interpretation is a mess, again my opinion, and unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

(I know this article deals with UK, however I feel it's apt to discuss a US scenario since we are no longer far removed with this specific topic)

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 9 months ago | (#45976889)

England has a right to silence [wikipedia.org] that is very similar to the U.S. fifth amendment.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#45976561)

They also accounted for warranted searches. It's not self-incrimination to surrender your shed keys when you've got a naked co-ed chained inside.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976595)

They also accounted for warranted searches. It's not self-incrimination to surrender your shed keys when you've got a naked co-ed chained inside.

That is different though. In the case you posit someone is in imminent danger of harm, in this case though there may be people who have suffered financially revealing the password will not save anyone from harm merely serve to incriminate the suspect further.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 9 months ago | (#45976655)

OK, "surrender keys to a shed filled with incriminating documents," Mr. Pedantic.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 9 months ago | (#45976729)

OK, "surrender keys to a shed filled with incriminating documents," Mr. Pedantic.

Except a locked shed requires a physical object, i.e. key, to be opened. The cops don't need you to incriminate yourself if they can find the key (or get a proper warrant to circumvent it).

Conversely, locked data (information) does not require a physical key, but rather information kept within the owner's brain.

Information that would be self-incriminating to give out.

FWIW, I personally don't know of any legal precedent (in the US) that requires one to surrender a key if doing so would be self-incriminating.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977107)

In the case you posit someone is in imminent danger of harm

So? What difference does that make? I'm tired of people throwing principled out the window in the name of safety.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 9 months ago | (#45976625)

They also accounted for warranted searches. It's not self-incrimination to surrender your shed keys when you've got a naked co-ed chained inside.

A key is a thing I have, not a thing I know. That may be enough to make the difference. Actual knowledge of the co-ed's presence can also make the difference.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976867)

Also a lock is something that you can trivially bypass, encryption is not.

I would suspect that the law doesn't require you to surrendering keys and access during a search with a warrant - but it'll help your case an awful lot and limit the damage to your property. If you don't have or provide the key the police will just force their way in instead, no problem. With encryption they can't do that. So similarly you probably in the past wouldn't have been required to surrender the encryption key if it constituted self-incrimination, although it would have helped your case a lot if you complied. Because it's so much harder to bypass though they felt they needed some way to force you to comply, hence the new law. That doesn't remove the legal/moral question mark of self-incrimination. I do expect that sometime in the future it'll get challenged in court, though I also expect national security will likely overrule the other issues.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976949)

I don't think the rules should change just because encryption works better than a physical lock.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976653)

They also accounted for warranted searches. It's not self-incrimination to surrender your shed keys when you've got a naked co-ed chained inside.

You have a USB stick with a naked co-ed in chains on it? Can I get a copy?

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 9 months ago | (#45976589)

Yeah. It's too bad that US Citizens don't enjoy that prohibition anymore:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57364330-281/judge-americans-can-be-forced-to-decrypt-their-laptops/ [cnet.com]

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45976611)

Indeed. As the US government operates outside of its constitutional limits, it can only be considered a criminal organization.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45976761)

As the US government operates outside of my interpretation of its constitutional limits, it can only be considered by me to be a criminal organization.

FTFY.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | about 9 months ago | (#45976941)

It wasn't broken, unless you can't think for yourself and need to be told what to think and believe.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 9 months ago | (#45977067)

As the US government operates outside of my interpretation of its constitutional limits, it can only be considered by me to be a criminal organization.

FTFY.

You clarified that a signed post on Slashdot was the judgement and opinion of the poster? I don't think that rises to the level of "repair" that "fixing" implies.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977097)

All governments operate between limits, if we leave the interpretation of their constitution to themselves. That being said, if the constitution is vague or broad enough to allow a wide range of interpretations, then the constitution itself is wrong.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45976811)

Indeed. As the US government operates outside of its constitutional limits, it can only be considered a criminal organization.

Since it defines what is and isn't criminal it cannot, by definition, be a criminal organization. What it can be is unethical, immoral, corrupt, incompetent, unjust, and moronic... but it can't be illegal. People often confuse the word "criminal" with the concept of the "bad person". Ethics and morality have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the law. The law is about order. Ethics and morality is about justice. And our justice system has as much to do with actual justice as the military has to do with "peace" keeping.

In every society in which the rule of law has existed for more than a couple generations, it has been corrupted to prioritize order over justice -- and order is another way of saying "remove malcontents and political undesireables". Principally, in an industrialized society these will be young males under the age of 35 who are unemployed, under-employed, sexually frustrated, mentally ill, not eligible for meat grinder service or otherwise producing wealth for the already-wealthy.

Eventually, the law reaches the point where everyone can be a criminal, that the law itself has become and inaccessible bureauacracy, and every action can be rationalized as legal. That point is now, in the UK, the US, and indeed, most of Europe and much of eastern Asia. Every major empire has a historical record of its citizens complaining about overly dense laws and regulations, from modern times all the way back to the Roman Empire, and fragments of literature suggesting an intractable bureaucracy that appeared to randomly punish people as far back as the Akkadian Empire (for the iPod generation, that's about 2300 BC, or about the time Al Gore invented the internet and Jesus rode around on primitive loldinocats).

My point in all this is, it's not a new problem. Arguably, it isn't even a problem: It is in fact the natural progression of all empires and countries. But have hope: It's a sure sign that the civilization has passed its epoch. Within the next 50-100 years, western civilization will start to deteriorate back to a feudalistic-capitalistic hybrid where destitution, slavery, debtors prisons, and constant warfare again become the norm... and eventually the people will rebel, the world will burn, and out of the ashes a new civilization will rise up, and our grandchildren will enjoy a period of relative peace and prosperity.

Humanity is cyclical.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977103)

What a bunch of non-sense. I don't understand how crap like this gets modded up.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

j-turkey (187775) | about 9 months ago | (#45976977)

The CNET article fails to mention context, and my understanding of the case law is that it isn't so simple. I can't speak to the specifics of the Colorado case in the CNET article, but I do know that the case of the Sebastien Boucher/CBP, Boucher was compelled to reveal his key based upon more than just reasonable suspicion. In this case, agents had actually seen child pornography on the system, and then shut the system down. The key was flushed from memory upon shutdown, rendering the data inaccessible. However, officers had already seen the incriminating data. Certain federal district courts have protected defendants from being compelled to reveal keys for the purpose of "fishing expeditions", when it is uncertain whether or not there is any incriminating data.

IANAL

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976615)

Pertinence Check:

"founding fathers" "self-incrimination" don't come into play here.

It seems you're confusing USA with the UK.

May I suggest: http://www.gchq.gov.uk/Pages/homepage.aspx - to see what GCHQ is and what country is involved. (sorry for the link to an asp site, ugh)

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45976659)

Where did I claim that this case took place in the US? Read my post, the parent post, and think a little harder.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#45976709)

I did catch that. But, it got me wondering. Did the UK not have any founding fathers? How about founding mothers? Maybe some founding SOB's? Where did England come from? Did it spring forth from the primordial soup? Which came first, the soup or the crown? Questions, questions, questions, all of which only lead to yet more questions!

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#45976849)

Sure. The UK's most famous Founding Father is a fictional guy who banged his sister, whose wife was banging his best friend, and who was eventually killed by his incest-bastard. Oh, and he pulled a sword out of a stone, too.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#45977133)

That is more realistic then what the Tea Party said about the American Founding Fathers.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976649)

I'm assuming you're referring to Northern English barons who rebelled against King John in 1215 and forced upon him the Magna Carta? Because this is referring to UK law, not US law.

Insightful indeed.

NEVER talk to the police! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976773)

Even if you are completely innocent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Of course in the UK you have no right to silence, because well, you're a terrorist, right.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45976831)

No shit. Does that make the founding fathers an invalid counter example to GPs assertion that only "libtards" would be upset about this?

Why are people with terrible reading comprehension are so quick to criticize others reading comprehension?

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45976475)

In not so many flamebait words, yeah.

He knew the password, the police had probable cause, and he intentionally impeded an investigation. I can't speak to British legal procedure, but in America that'd almost certainly be enough to be charged with obstruction of justice.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#45976541)

I would consider it his fifth amendment right not to be forced to self incriminate. It's the prosection's duty to prove his guilt, so make them do their job. I don't care if he's guilty of other charges; he still has the same rights as everyone else.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

dugancent (2616577) | about 9 months ago | (#45976591)

There is no 5th amendment by in the UK.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (4, Informative)

Calibax (151875) | about 9 months ago | (#45976817)

In the UK, the right to remain silent has been around since the 17th Century. However, it was removed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1984.

Since the UK doesn't have a written constitution, it's impossible to argue that a law is unconstitutional. The question cannot be taken to the European Court of Human Rights, because the tight to remain silent is not mentioned in the European Convention on Human Rights, although the majority of E.U. countries have laws giving that right.

Further, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 make it a crime not to disclose an encryption key to police when asked.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#45977001)

The question cannot be taken to the European Court of Human Rights, because the tight to remain silent is not mentioned in the European Convention on Human Rights, although the majority of E.U. countries have laws giving that right.

Actually, it can: the ECHR have ruled that:

"Although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 (art. 6) of the Convention, there can be no doubt that the right to remain silent under police questioning and the privilege against self-incrimination are generally recognised international standards which lie at the heart of the notion of a fair procedure under Article 6 (art. 6) (see the Funke judgment cited above, loc. cit.). By providing the accused with protection against improper compulsion by the authorities these immunities contribute to avoiding miscarriages of justice and to securing the aims of Article 6 (art. 6). "

In other words the European court considers it so fucking obvious it doesn't matter if it's not said. The American consitiution apparently considered it important enough to put down in writing. Sadly our (the UK) government considers it neither important nor obvious.

That ruling was brought against the UK when it was taken to the ECHR for violating the whole "right to silence" thing. Sadly the wankers in power will not get the message.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45977141)

"Since the UK doesn't have a written constitution, it's impossible to argue that a law is unconstitutional."

This is no longer really true in certain key areas (where we are governed by wider conventions) but it's better to say it's irrelevant. The idea of constitutionality is only important if you have a constitution; a constitution is by no means essential because given the right impetus it can be ignored; federal income tax, the patriot act, customs searches at borders, the entire swathe of history before the civil rights acts... the only thing worse than a constitution is one that the entire country can choose to ignore without amendment.

Yes, we have no amendment to a constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976841)

We have many rights enumerated in UK law, statute and royal proclamation. And as a signatory to the EUHRA too.

Which means the UK has BETTER rights and more strictly enforced rights than the USA, who have a 5th amendment.

Of course, governments ignore the laws when convenient. As do criminals, to be fair. However, we pay a lot of money to jail the second type of criminal, and have little chance to prosecute the former.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45976563)

We are constitutionally protected against self-incrimination. While you are correct that in America, he'd probably get charged with obstruction of justice, that would just show how far outside its constutional authority the US government operates.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45976691)

For the fifth amendment to apply, there must be a risk of incriminating oneself. That depends on the specifics of the case:

Chalk said the USB contained material linking the defendant to an alleged fraud. He added that it was only when investigators told Hussain he was being investigated for fraud that he gave up the password. Investigations into the alleged fraud are ongoing.

If this were an American case, the defendant could be charged with obstructing the investigation into someone else's fraud, but the evidence linking him to it would easily be inadmissible. It's been held in federal court that defendants can be compelled to provide unencrypted drive contents to investigators if the police already know the partial contents of the device. While he could probably invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid handing over the password, a blanket grant of immunity for anything further found on the device may be enough* for a court to determine that "self-incrimination" is no longer a risk.

* There are conflicting rulings on this recently, implying that there's a threshold for how much immunity is enough to mitigate the risk.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 9 months ago | (#45976569)

"He knew the password, the police had probable cause, and he intentionally impeded an investigation. I can't speak to British legal procedure, but in America that'd almost certainly be enough to be charged with obstruction of justice."

You're wrong about America. The law is far from settled, but in some jurisdictions probable cause is hardly enough to compel a suspect to reveal an encryption password. Actual knowledge of the drive's contents may be necessary to compel a person to decrypt it, as otherwise it would violate the suspect's right against self incrimination.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976617)

In the UK, he can be jailed for life for refusing to cough up a password under RIPA.

The dialog goes like this:

Judge: "Password, please".
Defendant: "Sorry, no."
Judge: "That is another three years, password please."
Defendant: "No can do."
Judge: "That is another three years, password please."

Until the defendant has a life sentence without even a single trial.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (1)

Calibax (151875) | about 9 months ago | (#45976639)

In the USA there is a constitutional right against self incrimination, and the right not to answer questions from the police has been the subject of many movies, both fictional and non-fictional. It's generally considered that "taking the fifth" is a well known act by criminals.

Without doubt it is possible to argue that not answering questions is impeding an investigation and therefore obstructing justice, but it is balanced by a suspect's right to remain silent when questioned by police. Now whether a person can be compelled to answer questions about a password is a different twist on the question "where did you hide the key the safe" or whatever, but I think the answer is well settled in U.S. jurisprudence.

Re:Cry me a fucking river... (3, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45976715)

I'm more annoyed that the police didn't figure it out based on the password for other systems.

freedom... (2)

dmitrygr (736758) | about 9 months ago | (#45976427)

Yeah...

Re:freedom... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976503)

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Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. In March 2012, the EPA first proposed carbon pollution standards for future power plants. After receiving over 2.5 million comments, we determined to issue a new proposed rule based on this input and updated information.

In September 2013, the EPA announced its new proposal. The proposed standards would establish the first uniform national limits on carbon pollution from future power plants. They will not apply to existing power plants. The proposal sets separate national limits for new natural gas-fired turbines and new coal-fired units. New large natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. Operators of these units could choose to have additional flexibility by averaging their emissions over multiple years to meet a somewhat tighter limit.

The standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient, lower carbon technologies that are currently being used today. They set the stage for continued public and private investment in technologies like efficient natural gas and carbon capture and storage. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register on January 8, and the formal public comment period is now open. We look forward to robust engagement on the proposal and will carefully consider the comments and input we receive as a final rule is developed.

As noted, the proposed rule would apply only to future power plants. For existing plants, we are engaged in outreach to a broad group of stakeholders who can inform the development of proposed guidelines, which we expect to issue in June of this year. These guidelines will provide guidance to States, which have the primary role in developing and implementing plans to address carbon pollution from the existing plants in their states. We recognize that existing power plants require a distinct approach, and this framework will allow us to capitalize on state leadership and innovation while also accounting for regional diversity and providing flexibility.

The EPA’s stakeholder outreach and public engagement in preparation for this rulemaking is extensive and vigorous. We held eleven public listening sessions around the country at EPA regional offices and our headquarters in Washington, DC. We have participated in numerous meetings with a broad range of stakeholders across the country. And all of this is happening well before we propose any guidelines. When we issue proposed guidelines in June, the more formal public process begins – including a public comment period and an opportunity for a public hearing – which will provide yet further opportunity for stakeholders and the general public to provide input.

Cutting Methane Emissions

The Climate Action Plan calls for the development of a comprehensive, interagency strategy to address emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that also contributes to ozone pollution, but which has substantial economic value. EPA is working with other agencies to assess emissions data, address data gaps, and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions through incentive-based programs and existing authorities.

Curbing Emissions of HFCs

The Plan also calls on the US to lead through international diplomacy as well as domestic action to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases whose emissions are otherwise expected to nearly triple by 2030. Moving forward, the EPA will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to encourage the investment, purchase, and use of climate-friendly alternatives.

Preparing for Impacts of Climate Change

Even as we work to avoid dangerous climate change, we must strengthen America’s resilience to climate impacts we’re already experiencing and those that can no longer be avoided. The President’s Plan calls for a broad array of actions on this front. EPA is incorporating research on climate impacts into the implementation of our existing programs and developing information and tools to help decision-makers – including State, local and tribal governments – to better understand and address these impacts. Further, EPA is working closely with our federal agency counterparts on several other aspects of building our national resilience, including developing the National Drought Resilience Partnership, ensuring the security of our freshwater supplies, protecting our water utilities, and protecting and restoring our natural resources in the face of a changing climate.

International Efforts

Our changing climate is also a global challenge, and the President’s Plan recognizes that the United States must couple action at home with leadership abroad. Working closely with the State Department, EPA continues to engage our international partners in reducing carbon pollution through an array of activities. These include public-private partnership efforts to address emissions of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Global Methane Initiative, as well as bilateral cooperation with major economies.

Conclusion

The President’s Plan provides a roadmap for federal action to meet the pressing challenge of a changing climate – promoting clean energy solutions that capitalize on American innovation and drive economic growth. EPA looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts.

Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I look forward to answering your questions.

Re:freedom... (1)

Punko (784684) | about 9 months ago | (#45976537)

It has been obvious for a long time, that when it comes to privacy of the person and their rights when in conflict with the demands of the state and defending these rights in court, that the subject of the court case will be a scumball.

Just because he is scum doesn't mean he doesn't have rights. Someone's grandmother up on similar charges, we could all support defending their rights, unfortunately, they are not the ones likely to end up with those charges in the first place.

Re:freedom... (3, Informative)

prelelat (201821) | about 9 months ago | (#45976903)

There are two scenarios in forcing someone to hand over information on an encrypted disk.
1) With no evidence of wrong doing they make you hand over information that's encrypted. There is no court order, because there isn't any evidence. It's like passing through security and they want to view secret documents in your locked briefcase. That's not warranted. It's a violation.

2) Court has evidence against you there is an investigation and they court orders you to hand it over. It's the same as asking for the key to your briefcase because they have a warrant to search it. The only difference is, is that if you don't give them the key they can't smash the lock to open it up. If you don't give them the key and they can't open it up they will throw you in jail for disobeying the court. I see that as nothing different than what has happened here.

Now it has been argued I believe successfully that encrypted data should be treated just personal speech which should be protected by the 5th. Now this wasn't the U.S. so this has no barring on the current case. It's quite interesting to think of how this falls. Is it the same as making someone testify or make a statement or is it more like locked files in a cabinet.

So while the scenario in part 1) isn't debatable the scenario in part 2) is. Was this a violation of freedom it's hard for me to say.

The EFFs thoughts https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/new-eff-amicus-brief-argues-fifth-amendment-prohibits-compelled-decryption [eff.org]

Wrench beats encryption every time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976441)

Don't get caught.

Re:Wrench beats encryption every time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976567)

Not if he used an IronKey. Hitting someone with a wrench is never going to bring back a self destructed USB drive, it will only make his captors look just as bad as they allege he is.

1 Password to rule them all (3, Interesting)

Chatterton (228704) | about 9 months ago | (#45976461)

Another point of the story. Don't reuse passwords :D

Re:1 Password to rule them all (4, Informative)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 9 months ago | (#45976861)

That's not the moral of this story. He was given 4 months because he wasted police time - that was because he actually gave them the password in the end.

If he had continued not to give them the password, even if it were actually true that he had forgotten it, they could have imprisoned him for considerably longer, the current maximum is 10 years, which is more than you get for cutting someone's throat with a smashed beerglass in the pub, and considerably more than the slap on the wrist you get for killing an unarmed civilian if you're a police marksman.

This warped and clearly unfair legislation was brought to you courtesy of this total bastard [wikipedia.org] .

Re:1 Password to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976947)

and considerably more than the slap on the wrist you get for killing an unarmed civilian if you're a police marksman.

Wow, you guys slap their wrist? Over here we don't even go that far.

Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976471)

The password was $ur4ht4ub4h8 - as Bruce Schneider said a few weeks ago - encryption is still on our side. Regardless of the NSA /GCHQ revelations, they cannot break AES yet. That's why the British police resort to section 49 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/16/password_refusal_earns_terror_suspect_extra_jail_time/

Re:Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (3, Interesting)

PIBM (588930) | about 9 months ago | (#45976519)

What makes you think they hadn't it all cracked, but just wanted to have him spend more time in jail while they prepare the other stuff they will hit him with ? What if he really had forgotten the password ? Beside he had already given them; why would not they have tried all other passwords they had received ?

Re:Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45977065)

Reporting on this provision of RIPA is always wrong, and the Slashdot discussion is even worse.

To face conviction for failing to disclose a password in the UK the police have to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt (and that's specifically stated in the legislation itself) that you knew the password at the time.

This case is no different. The guy was arrested for terror plots, asked to divulge a password but then claimed he didn't know it, the police couldn't prove he did know it so nothing came of it, the guy was jailed anyway under all the other evidence they had.

The police then found it seemed he'd been involved in card fraud. Turns out incriminating evidence of this was on the memory stick and that's why he didn't want the police acting it, because he clearly hoped if he got off with the terrorism charge they'd never find out about the card fraud charge, so he had nothing to lose. Once they had found out about it he hoped for further sentencing leniency over the card fraud for admitting the password and hence helping the police. The problem for him is by admitting it he gave the police the "beyond reasonable doubt" that they needed all along to do him for failing to disclose the password.

So to this day, if you don't know the password, if you pretend you don't know the password, then there's fuck all the police can do to you with this legislation, hence it's not half as bad as people make out.

To date the only people getting done by it are those admitting they know the password and explicitly refusing to hand it over, those who do stupid things like this guy, and for example, more complex scenarios where someone pretends they've lost a password and the police can't cracking, but then they manage to crack, say, weaker encryption such as that used for his desktop login to find his desktop password which they can confirm forensically that he has entered and used since denying knowing his encrypted USB password and if it matches the encrypted USB password they can claim, well, he knew his desktop password, he logged in, and it was the same as his encrypted USB password, and hence beyond reasonable doubt...

Really, it's not the worst law in the world, the police have to hit a pretty high standard of evidence, or the accused has to fuck up and basically admit their own guilt to ever become victim of this. If you genuinely don't know your password, or if you deny knowing it and the police can't prove otherwise, then you're fine. You have to explicitly and provably obstruct a police investigation to get done by this law.

Re:Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 9 months ago | (#45976525)

Or they don't consider these cases important enough to reveal that they can break it.

Re:Good news !! GCHQ couldnt crack the password (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 9 months ago | (#45976571)

Sorry, but it's more like they didn't want to bother. The story makes it probable (not quite certain) that they already knew that it was the password to other devices that he had used.

Also, was he a terrorist? Could be. The story says he was serving time for planning attacks on the UK, but that could be fraud as easily as violence. If I were interested enough, I'd look it up, as it is I'm just commenting on the slipshod nature of reporting (which I'm assuming matches the original story without checking). I did note that an earlier post asserted that he was a terrorist, while another asserted that he was just a fraudster, and that BOTH assertions were reasonably compatible with the summary.

GCHQ is incompetent (4, Interesting)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 9 months ago | (#45976497)

The password he used was the same as one that he had previously divulged, but the incompetent investigators at GCHQ and the police didn't think to try it.

Re:GCHQ is incompetent (4, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | about 9 months ago | (#45976517)

Maybe the point wasn't to get into the USB stick? Maybe the point was to find a reason to incarcerate him longer?

Cynical, yes. Feasible, quite yes.

OTOH, Hanlon's Razor does favor your reasoning.

Re:GCHQ is incompetent (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45976783)

There were cases in the US where the guy refused to give it up, and they cracked it anyway. They probably have the tech to crack much of it (running a long list of known passwords used by terrorists is step one) but to magically open it reveals they have the tech to do so, which they wouldn't want to reveal as a countermeasures strategy.

Re:GCHQ is incompetent (1)

batquux (323697) | about 9 months ago | (#45976809)

If it's something like an Ironkey, it can be set to destroy the data after a number of failed attempts.

Re:GCHQ is incompetent (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#45976851)

Maybe it was a self-destructing USB stick: "You have 1 try left."

"The USB was believed to ... be unconnected with" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976511)

Actually, when they requested the password, the USB stick was believed to contain information related to "national security" (he presumably didn't reveal it then so as not to alert police to the alleged fraud). But when they began to investigate him for fraud he did reveal the password (he presumably thought that once they were investigating coming clean would be the best possible thing to do). In doing so he destroyed his previous plausible deniability that he couldn't provide the password. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25745989)

Sorry, what was he jailed for? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976557)

FTA: "Syed Hussain had already been jailed for his part in a cell that had discussed an attack on a Territorial Army base in Luton using a bomb attached to a remote control car"

He has been jailed for discussing something?

I'll be in trouble (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#45976635)

I'll be in trouble if I'm ever raided -- I have several USB devices and CD-R's that I used in the past to make a backup of something, and have lost or forgotten the passwords.

I wonder what the penalty would be for someone that filled a device with random data, and the authorities are convinced that it's encrypted and demand the decryption key.

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 9 months ago | (#45976767)

In the UK? Life imprisonment without trial, under section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Re:I'll be in trouble (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about 9 months ago | (#45976785)

I'll be in trouble if I'm ever raided -- I have several USB devices and CD-R's that I used in the past to make a backup of something, and have lost or forgotten the passwords.

Forget your CDs, it's your DVD collection you should be worried about. "All I remember is the first part! 09 F9... then the hex code for some shade of red [stewd.io] ... I swear!" This is why everyone should have that number handy.

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

Spad (470073) | about 9 months ago | (#45976795)

A maximum of 2 years in jail, in the UK at least.

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 9 months ago | (#45976813)

Doesn't even have to be filled with random data.

You can hide a truecrypt data file in an apparently blank USB. No way to tell that it's not empty unless you know the password.

TELL US THE PASSWORD FOR THIS BLANK USB OR WE WILL JAIL YOU!

Re:I'll be in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976915)

Irrelevant, the NSA has already pre-weakened truecrypt (posted on /. in Nov./Dec. IIRC). The truecrypt header format has space for TWO volumes hard-coded in, the NSA would be stupid not to attempt cracking both since that's a set-up RECOMMENDED by truecrypt!

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

feufeu (1109929) | about 9 months ago | (#45976979)

>You can hide a truecrypt data file in an apparently blank USB.

Please don't tell us that you believe this is true for a device that really only contains zeroes...

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 9 months ago | (#45977037)

Yes, when decrypted it is all 1's

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 9 months ago | (#45977165)

Apparently you haven't heard of AND 0 encryption. It's provably secure.

Re:I'll be in trouble (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#45977009)

I wonder what the penalty would be for someone that filled a device with random data, and the authorities are convinced that it's encrypted and demand the decryption key.

Up to two years. There are people in jail now who claim this has happened to them, but the jury did not agree. So basically it hinges on if you can convince a jury that you really forgot, or if they think you are lying.

His password was... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976643)

obamaisafilthynigger

Really.... ????? (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 9 months ago | (#45976741)

I'm confused. I forgot. Sure, the NSA has the ability to decrypt and listen/read everything we're doing, but this? Is it a tactic to make us all believe that they truly don't have these kind of powers, and our data is safe... a false story... or more likely - the truth, the majority of the people who have the ability to access everything they need to access and technologies reserved for government agencies but simply, are incompetent in their jobs. I believe the latter is the answer, DFUs are managing our information, which ultimately means - most of us, while technically are fully vulnerable, are really safe...simply because the exploiters of our information are fucking idiots.

Clarifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976749)

This article just threw out a bunch of idiot comments. So a few clarifiactions:

1) This is England, not the US. Their rights are similar but not the same.
2) The right to silence (how it's referred to in the UK) does not allow someone the right to obstruct an investigation. It specifically refers to the right to not say anything that will incriminate you, but even in the US obstruction of justice when carrying out a court order is not protected. Him not giving a password is not an incriminating statement, it's obstruction of a legal investigation.
3) The side issue that's rather shocking is that the GCHQ was unable to crack the encryption despite the password being used on other systems and they had already obtained it; wouldn't the first thing you at least try be passwords you already have? Seems like a large oversight by the GCHQ.

Naional security bogus (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45976757)

What on this beautiful blue ball of earth is classified as national security. What possible secrets are there?
I would propose that all secrets would either benefit humanity or not. If the secret is of benefit to humanity then do away with secret.
If its against humanity the. Do away with the secret so we can arrest the shits.
And before you think I mean terrorist, I actually mean gov.
If they hold secrets its usually the bad kind....
To me, screw national secrets. Security and secrets are two diff things. US is always protecting their dark heart.

Title is Misleading (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 9 months ago | (#45976865)

He wasn't jailed for refusing to reveal the password. He was jailed for his part in a bomb attack. Once in prison you can get out early for good behavior and for turning over information. Here he tried to trade this password for time. He claimed he had just remembered it. But they found out it was a password that he had already given them for something else. So they backed out of the deal.

This is clearly against E.U. Human Rights (2)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#45977007)

This goes directly against prior decisions by the European Court of Human Rights. There is very clear and unambiguous legal precedent, that a person under criminal investigation need not bear witness against himself. For example. in Marttinen v Finland [ketse.com] the Court interpreted the article 6.1 [wikisource.org] that reads inter alia "In the determination of ... any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...". The Court wrote in its decision:

The Court reiterates its case-law on the use of coercion to obtain information: although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 of the Convention, the rights relied on by the applicant, the right to silence and the right not to incriminate oneself, are generally recognised international standards which lie at the heart of the notion of a fair procedure under Article 6

If the defendant is not able to have this sentence overturned in domestic courts, he should hire a lawyer who can bring this case before the European Court of Human Rights ASAP to obtain a decision against the Government of UK. The court will also award compensation for the inhumane treatment of the defendant by the Government, and obligate the government to compensate for the legal expenses.

Meltdown... (1)

defaria (741527) | about 9 months ago | (#45977017)

I've always thought that encryption software should offer a meltdown password such that when entered, instead of decrypting the data it erases it. So when you want to get into your encrypted drive you enter "sesame" but when the authorities which to get your password you enter say "meltdown" (or rather you tell them your password is "meltdown") and they enter it only to find the drive has been hosed. Then you shrug your shoulders and say "I thought that drive was on it's last legs....".

Tangential, but... (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 9 months ago | (#45977139)

The USB was believed to contain data...

Are we really just calling this "a USB" now instead of "a USB flash drive" or something similar?

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