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Teen Jailed for Refusing to Give Up His Password

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 97 comments

A 50-character password sounds about adequate.

Putting a password to protect your sensitive data is always good practice, but a 19-year-old from the UK has been jailed for not giving up his password to authorities.

Oliver Drage was arrested in May 2009 in Blackpool as part of a crackdown on child sexual exploitation. Police seized Drage's computer, but wasn't able to crack the encryption on the data stored on his drives.

The Daily Mail characterizes Drage's 50-character encryption as "sophisticated," which probably isn't untrue given that UK authorities has still yet to crack his password after 17 months of trying.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 made it an offence with withhold passwords and access keys to hard drives – a crime that Drage is now charged with.

Of course, depending on what is stored on his hard drives, taking the charge for withholding a password could be the more desirable of charges – as long as the police never crack his sophisticated password.

Read more at the Daily Mail.

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Top Comments
  • 35 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 10, 2010 11:10 PM
    Quote:
    The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 made it an offence with withhold passwords and access keys to hard drives – a crime that Drage is now charged with.

    Should have used a Solid State Drive...
  • 32 Hide
    Anonymous , October 10, 2010 11:07 PM
    Just say you "forgot" it
  • 30 Hide
    jrnyfan , October 10, 2010 11:45 PM
    shoulda used true crypt and given them the password to a fake shell OS
Other Comments
    Display all 97 comments.
  • 32 Hide
    Anonymous , October 10, 2010 11:07 PM
    Just say you "forgot" it
  • 27 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 10, 2010 11:09 PM
    I was told over and over again at work to NEVER divulge your password. Not to friends, especially not to family members. Why in the hell would I EVER give it up to law enforcement? It is privileged information.
  • 35 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 10, 2010 11:10 PM
    Quote:
    The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 made it an offence with withhold passwords and access keys to hard drives – a crime that Drage is now charged with.

    Should have used a Solid State Drive...
  • 17 Hide
    Lewis57 , October 10, 2010 11:17 PM
    This is old now, but anyway; He obviously has illegal content on his drives, and I'm not condoning whatever he has on those drives, but 16 weeks imprisonment is hell of a lot better than whatever he could get for said illegal content.
  • 9 Hide
    Shadow703793 , October 10, 2010 11:28 PM
    jacobdrjShould have used a Solid State Drive...

    lol. Nice. It should legally be different meanings :D .
  • 10 Hide
    ALANMAN , October 10, 2010 11:38 PM
    jacobdrjShould have used a Solid State Drive...


    Haha yeah. Though I haven't actually read the bill...it probably covers all types of (semi)permanent storage.
  • 18 Hide
    highlife , October 10, 2010 11:40 PM
    I guess they don't have a 5th amendment equivalent in the UK?
  • -7 Hide
    jellico , October 10, 2010 11:43 PM
    Lewis57This is old now, but anyway; He obviously has illegal content on his drives, and I'm not condoning whatever he has on those drives, but 16 weeks imprisonment is hell of a lot better than whatever he could get for said illegal content.

    I absolutely loathe that attitude! If you've got nothing to hide then why not comply with the police who want to search your car, your computer... where does it end. How about if the police decide to just start doing door-to-door home searches. If you're not hiding anything, you should have no reason to object.

    Look, the guy is probably hiding something. But the burden of proof is on the police. Making it a crime to withhold passwords? Why not just waterboard the guy until he confesses. Or better yet, let's hook a car battery up to his testicles. No, I know... let's just work his ass over until he gives up the goods. Nah... that's barbaric! We can't torture people. Let's just put him in jail for 20 years or until he gives up the password and incriminates himself so we can put him in jail for 15 years.

    Fortunately, in the free (for now) United States, we have the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. I do concur with epol, in the absense of such protection, he should just claim that he forgot.
  • 30 Hide
    jrnyfan , October 10, 2010 11:45 PM
    shoulda used true crypt and given them the password to a fake shell OS
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 10, 2010 11:45 PM
    jacobdrjShould have used a Solid State Drive...

    Lol!
  • -1 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 10, 2010 11:46 PM
    Quote:
    The Daily Mail characterizes Drage's 50-character encryption as "sophisticated," which probably isn't untrue given that UK authorities has still yet to crack his password after 17 months of trying.
    jacobdrjShould have used a Solid State Drive...


    On second thoughts, SSDs weren't very easy to get 17 months ago.
  • 7 Hide
    chickenhoagie , October 10, 2010 11:48 PM
    jrnyfanshoulda used true crypt and given them the password to a fake shell OS

    very crafty idea..i almost want to attempt this and ask law enforcement to try and break it :p 
  • -6 Hide
    Ciuy , October 11, 2010 12:00 AM
    Haha technology win for the 1st time :) ))
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2010 12:25 AM
    submit to police for what ever reason they think up? you should go live in China JELLICO where that sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME
  • 23 Hide
    pjmelect , October 11, 2010 12:25 AM
    I am from the UK and I have strong encrypted files on my PC that I do not know the password to as I change my password every month and I can only remember the past few month’s passwords. If the police raided me I would be unable to gave them all of the passwords to the files on my computer. Is it now illegal to forget your passwords?
  • 7 Hide
    sseyler , October 11, 2010 12:29 AM
    CiuyHaha technology win for the 1st time ))
    Data encryption isn't new...
  • 18 Hide
    millerm84 , October 11, 2010 12:35 AM
    highlifeI guess they don't have a 5th amendment equivalent in the UK?


    thats one of the many reasons we fought a war against them in the 1770s
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2010 12:38 AM
    So what happens if he says "I can't remember it"
  • -6 Hide
    nforce4max , October 11, 2010 12:38 AM
    Should have just used a bait drive and keep what ever he may be storing on some other drive that is no ware near the property or ware they could not find it.
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