Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - EFF Argue Forced Decryption Violates 5th Amendment (

Gunkerty Jeb writes: Can the government compel a witness to provide access to encrypted data on a given computer?

The EFF says no, citing the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment protection of “expression of the contents of an individual’s mind.” Furthermore, the brief claims that the Supreme Court decided that a witness may be “forced to surrender a key to a strongbox containing incriminating documents,” but not “compelled to reveal the combination to a wall safe.” The EFF believes that forcing Fricosu to supply a password is akin to making her reveal a safe combination, or disclosing information that exists only in her mind as opposed to turning over a physical item, and is therefore unconstitutional. Decryption, the EFF argument goes, is a testimonial act and therefore deserves the full protection of the Fifth Amendment.


An Open Source Legal Breakthrough 292

jammag writes "Open source advocate Bruce Perens writes in Datamation about a major court victory for open source: 'An appeals court has erased most of the doubt around Open Source licensing, permanently, in a decision that was extremely favorable toward projects like GNU, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, and Linux.' The case, Jacobsen v. Katzer, revolved around free software coded by Bob Jacobsen that Katzer used in a proprietary application and then patented. When Katzer started sending invoices to Jacobsen (for what was essentially Jacobsen's own work), Jacobsen took the case to court and scored a victory that — for the first time — lays down a legal foundation for the protection of open source developers. The case hasn't generated as many headlines as it should."
Classic Games (Games)

Perfecting a Tron Game 63

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a review of an old but entertaining freeware Tron game called Armagetron . The author heaps praise on the game for its "beautiful simplicity" and its exciting multiplayer options. More screenshots and a wiki are available on the game's website. Quoting: "It's all about speed, really. You might think driving in clever geometric patterns would win you the game, but speed is the real the alpha and the omega of Armagetron. See, if you can drive parallel to old enemy trails for long enough to get your speed up to two times, three times or even four times more than your starting speed then you become a hunter of men. It becomes within your power to dart off towards other players, overtake them, and take a couple of quick turns that mean your trail boxes them into a tiny space."

Virginia High Court Wrong About IP Addresses 174

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the state's anti-spam law, which prohibits the sending of bulk e-mail using falsified or forged headers, violates the First Amendment because it also applies to non-commercial political or religious speech. I agree that an anti-spam law should not outlaw anonymous non-commercial speech. But the decision contains statements about IP addresses, domain names, and anonymity that are rather basically wrong, and which may enable the state to win on appeal. The two basic errors are: concluding that anonymous speech on the Internet requires forged headers or other falsified information (and therefore that a ban on forged headers is an unconstitutional ban on anonymous speech), and assuming that use of forged headers actually does conceal the IP address that the message was sent from, which it does not." Click that magical little link below to read the rest of his story.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall