Monday, March 21, 2011
Bust of Pedophile Ring Raises Encryption Issues
Last week, we learned that Police has busted an international pedophile ring. The police rescued 230 children from sexual abuse and arrested 184 suspects.
The legal-technology issue here centers on the use of an Amsterdam-based online forum called boylover.net. The forum was heavily encrypted, according to reports.
Apparently, the police arrested the forum's administrator – who then helped police crack the complex web of encryption measures shielding users' identities. If this had happened in the United States, I believe that the suspects would be able to raise an interesting argument that the use of encryption created an expectation of privacy that could not be cracked by law enforcement without a warrant.
Of course, the suspects probably could not be less sympathetic.