The press has reported that Colorado federal judge Robert Blackburn has ordered Ramona Fricosu, who is accused of bank fraud, to release the contents of her encrypted hard drive. She had argued that doing so would would essentially mean she was testifying against herself in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” the judge wrote in his ruling on January 23rd.
There are cases on both sides of this issue - so far, no court has required that a defendant divulge their decryption key, but that seems to be largely a distinction without a difference if the unencrypted contents of a laptop must be produced.
Thanks to Dan Fuller, Jason Foltin and Ben Kerschberg for sending me variants of this story. A Mashable video discussing this story may be found here.
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