The Department of Justice says you can be forced to reveal your computer password. The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to force a defendant to decrypt an encrypted laptop that police found in her bedroom during a raid of her home.
In a brief filed last Friday, Fricosu’s Colorado Springs-based attorney, Philip Dubois, said defendants can’t be constitutionally obligated to help the government interpret their files. “If agents execute a search warrant and find, say, a diary handwritten in code, could the target be compelled to decode, i.e., decrypt, the diary?”
To the U.S. Justice Department, though, the requested court order represents a simple extension of prosecutors’ long-standing ability to assemble information that could become evidence during a trial. The department claims:
Public interests will be harmed absent requiring defendants to make available unencrypted contents in circumstances like these. Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases) that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible.
Fifth Amendment reminder….
No person..shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..
Is this is the transformational Hopenchange that the Obamorons voted for?