Judge Says Giving Up Your Password May Be A 5th Amendment Violation

from the protect-your-data dept

Courts have gone back and forth over the years concerning whether or not being forced to give up your password to reveal encrypted data is a violation of the Fifth Amendment. Now there's been yet another decision saying that someone cannot be forced to give up their password, because it likely violates their Fifth Amendment rights.
This is a close call, but I conclude that Feldman’s act of production, which would necessarily require his using a password of some type to decrypt the storage device, would be tantamount to telling the government something it does not already know with ‘reasonably particularity’—namely, that Feldman has personal access to and control over the encrypted storage devices. Accordingly, in my opinion, Fifth Amendment protection is available to Feldman. Stated another way, ordering Feldman to decrypt the storage devices would be in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.
It's definitely a good thing to see courts getting this right. Being forced to give up your passwords and encryption is quite a slippery slope. It's good to see judges pushing back.
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Filed Under: fifth amendment


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  1. identicon
    Unknown, 19 Mar 2014 @ 9:56am

    Re: Search Warrant

    no becuse we have the right not to incriminate our self by giving them the info its like just saying it to the judges face i did this and you made me say this.... know he does not have to incriminate him self by doing that so a warrants.... would you want to hand over any ove your password to the government, but he's guilty because he wont open his computer so that means he's either a very priavate person or he gots some bad things on there! Hope this helped you out....

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