Feeds

Crypto spares man who secretly video taped flatmates

Police can't crack code

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An Australian man who set up an elaborate network of hidden cameras to spy on his flatmates has escaped jail time after police were unable to crack the encryption scheme protecting his computer.

When police raided the residence of Rohan James Wyllie, they found found a series of peepholes drilled into the walls and doors of rooms occupied by his two female and one male flatmates. Wires led to Wyllie's bedroom, and the names of files on his computer were consistent with video footage that would have been recorded onto the hard drive of his computer.

But the files were encrypted, and the 39-year-old Wyllie refused to divulge the password. The inability of police to review the files - combined with the fact that a camera he used was unplugged when the raid was commenced - meant prosecutors lacked the hard evidence they needed to prove the man had secretly taped his flatmates.

Wyllie eventually pleaded guilty in Southport District Court to one count of attempting to visually record a person without consent in a private place. His lawyer said his client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and believed his mates were conspiring against him.

Given the lack of evidence and the 33 days Wyllie already spent in jail, the judge hearing the case accepted the guilty plea. He sentenced the man to two years of probation.

The legal status of encryption passwords remains unresolved in many parts of the world. There were no press reports suggesting prosecutors in Australia had the authority to compel Wyllie to reveal his code. But a US judge in Vermont earlier this year ordered a child porn suspect to decrypt his hard drive so investigators could inspect its contents.

More coverage is here and here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.