Adios Amendments 4 and 5

The judicial war on the U.S. Constitution continues apace:

American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their PGP-scrambled hard drives for police to peruse for incriminating files, a federal judge in Colorado ruled today in what could become a precedent-setting case. Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colo., woman to decrypt the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop computer no later than February 21–or face the consequences including contempt of court.

Blackburn, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that the Fifth Amendment posed no barrier to his decryption order. The Fifth Amendment says that nobody may be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which has become known as the right to avoid self-incrimination.

“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Blackburn wrote in a 10-page opinion today. He said the All Writs Act, which dates back to 1789 and has been used to require telephone companies to aid in surveillance, could be invoked in forcing decryption of hard drives as well.

It’s always interesting to see the logical contortions through which America’s corrupt judges go when they are determined to reach a conclusion that flies directly in the face of the Constitution. Given that Americans have “the right to remain silent” as well as the right to be “secure in their papers and effects”, there is no way that a judge can legitimately order any American to cough up a passphrase.

This is just one more piece of evidence demonstrating that the federal government is corrupt, lawless, and unconstitutional. It is an Augean Stables that is likely beyond the ability of any one man, even a principled man like Ron Paul, to clean up. But can anyone suggest with a straight face that Mitt Romney, the $45 million man, or that fat little Freddie Mac-owned troll, Newt Gingrich, have any interest whatsoever in doing so?