Feds Want Judge to Force Suspect to Give Up Laptop Password

Feds Want Judge to Force Suspect to Give Up Laptop Password

Federal prosecutors want a judge to order a Colorado woman to provide the password to decrypt her laptop, which the government seized with a search warrant.

With backup from digital rights groups, the woman is fighting the feds, arguing that being forced to provide her password violates the Fifth Amendment’s protection against forced self-incrimination.

Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn is expected to rule any day on whether to force defendant Ramona Fricosu to decrypt her Toshiba Satellite M305, which authorities seized from her in 2010 with a court warrant while investigating financial fraud.

The case is being closely watched by digital rights groups, as the issue has never been squarely weighed in on by federal courts, and the Supreme Court has never addressed the issue.

I have to agree with the defense here.

The court does have the right to seize the laptop if they have a warrant.  Just the same that they have the right to enter and search your property if they have a warrant.  If your house is locked or you won’t open the door for them, then they have the choice of either leaving or breaking in the door.

In this case, it’s up to the police to “open the door” on the laptop.

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