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06 October 2010, 11:22

Four months jail for refusing to disclose password

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A UK court sentenced a 19 year old to four months in prison because he refused to give authorities the password for an encrypted file on his PC. Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool was arrested in May 2009 by police who had seized his computer in connection with an investigation into child sexual exploitation.

The police found they could not access material on the PC as it had, according to the BBC, a 50 character password. Using provisions introduced in 2007 to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the police formally asked Drage to disclose his password which he failed to do; failure to disclose is an offence with a maximum sentence of five years. On Monday, Preston Crown Court sentenced Drage to sixteen weeks imprisonment. Police are still attempting to decrypt the contents of his computer.

There were reports of prosecutions in 2009 for non-disclosure of passwords, but the background to those prosecutions was unclear.


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