Defendant Ordered to Decrypt Hard Drive Says She Forgot Her PasswordS

A Colorado woman who was ordered to unlock her computer for investigators is reportedly saying she can't remember her password.

Last month U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered Ramona Ficosu to decrypt the hard drive on her Toshiba laptop by February 21st. The laptop was seized in 2010 in connection with a mortgage fraud investigation. The judge ruled that Ficosu couldn't use the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment to keep her password to herself. Now Threat Level reports that Ficosu plans to tell the court "Oopsies, I forgot."

"It's very possible to forget passwords," the woman's attorney, Philip Dubois, said in a telephone interview. "It's not clear to me she was the one who set up the encryption on this drive. I don't know if she will be able to decrypt it.

That's certainly an interesting, if dubious, way to avoid complying with the court order. According to the report, Ficosu has yet to use the "I forgot" defense in court, and that the court won't deal with it until she does. In the meantime, Ficosu's lawyers are preparing to appeal Judge Blackburn's ruling to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. [Threat Level]

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