[Someone jailed for not handing over an encryption key]
I was rather shocked by that. I remember being shocked when RIPA came in and had not caught up with the fact that there have been a few cases now.
It is a fact of life now that information can be hidden and not be accessible if someone wants it to stay hidden. To be honest this has always been the case even without convoluted tricks like Dan Brown's cryptex. People have been able to just keep secrets in their head.
Forcing someone to come up with a password if they do not want to goes against basic ingrained ideas like right to remain silent and right not to incriminate yourself as well as right to privacy. This is eroding civil liberties, IMHO.
It is also so pointless. People can hide information - there are plenty of tricks if you want to hide data in ways that do not look like the data is hidden. The more cases like this happen the more standard, off the shelf (well, downloadable for free), apps will provide this functionality and the concept of asking someone for their encryption keys will vanish.
There are almost certainly legal tricks too, such as the key being held by someone else but you having no right to it or control over them formally and them being in another country, etc. i.e. they happen to log in an unlock your disk for you if you ask, but there is no actual right to compel them to, and they won't if they hear you have been arrested.
I think I'll start putting random data files on my hard disk to prove a point.
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