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Wyoming Lawmakers Pass Bill to Prevent Forced Disclosure of Private Keys

Legislators in Wyoming have approved a measure that, with one small exception, forbids the state’s courts from ordering anyone to reveal the secret keys to their digital assets.

On February 15, just one day after passing 31-0 in the Wyoming Senate, the bill was approved by a vote of 41-13 in the Wyoming House of Representatives.

The law will go into effect on July 1 if Mark Gordon, the governor of Wyoming, approves it.

“No person shall be required, in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative or other proceeding[s] to provide a private key or make a private key known to any other person.” The new law states that it will be implemented in Wyoming.

Any private keys connected to digital assets, a person’s digital identity, or any other interests or rights that the private key offers are covered by the law.

The small exception is when a public key cannot be obtained or cannot reveal information on a digital asset, identity, or other right.

The new law will not prevent someone from being forced “to produce, sell, transfer, impart or divulge a digital asset, digital identity or other interest or right” that a private key may grant access to, according to the statute.

A person can still be forced to “disclose information about the digital asset, digital identity, or other interest or right” notwithstanding this.

W.S. 34-29-107, the new statute, is titled “Production of private keys; ban.”

The legislation governing private keys is part of Title 34 — Property, Conveyances and Security Transactions and is found in Chapter 29 — Digital Assets.

 

 

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