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Dutch gov't: suspects must decrypt computers

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November 28, 2012 03:16 AM EST | AP


AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government says it is planning to make it a crime for a suspect in a child sex abuse or terrorism case to refuse to help decrypt a computer when ordered to do so by prosecutors.

The legislation was prompted by a case in Amsterdam last year, in which a pedophile who abused more than 80 children and infants used sophisticated computer encryption software that slowed his investigation. Members of his network are still being caught.

In February, a U.S. appeals court found that forcing a suspect to surrender access to his computer can violate his constitutional rights not to incriminate himself.

Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said Wednesday the real issue is obstruction of justice, and he said comparable laws exist in England and Sweden.