On Mar 3, 2009, at 6:38 PM, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
So, the court is not going to pay the least attention to your
elaborate claims that you just like storing the output of your random
number generator on a large chunk of your hard drive. They really
don't give a damn about claims like that. Actually they do
care. They'll be pissed off that you're wasting their time.

You miss the point.

Re-read the link I provided that explains how TrueCrypt implements hidden volumes. A hidden TrueCrypt volume is *completely indistinguishable* from empty space in a regular TrueCrypt volume. That's what makes it hidden!

As I implied in the 2004 message in the context of political dissidents, a good use for hidden volumes isn't to distract your prosecutor with kittens and sunsets. That's just plain stupid, regardless of whether you're dealing with a US judge or someone whose preferred method of communication involves a pair of pliers and a blowtorch.

The idea is to present an alternative but *plausible* set of information that's far less incriminating than the real deal, such as only mildly illegal material or legal material that the owner would still plausibly wish to keep secret for social reasons. I gave you a concrete example: hardcore or fetish porn (legal, but plausibly not the kind of thing whose possession you wish to advertise) provided to investigators to mask a secret volume with kiddie porn.

If you give me the benefit of the doubt for having a reasonable general grasp of the legal system and not thinking the judge is an automaton or an idiot, can you explain to me how you think the judge can meet the burden of proof for contempt in this instance? Surely you don't wish to say that anyone using encryption can be held in contempt on the _chance_ they're not divulging all the information; what, then, is the other explanation?

Ivan Krstić <krs...@solarsail.hcs.harvard.edu> | http://radian.org

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