Illustration for article titled Court Says Cops Cant Make You Decrypt Your Secure Hard Drives

Remember the defendant in that fraud case who was prepared to claim she forgot the password to her laptop if ordered to decrypt it? Adding some more intrigue to the matter is the fact that the 11th Circuit Court says defendants won't have to decrypt drives if the contents are unknown. Huh?


The Fifth Amendment, of course, prevents any citizen from having to incriminate themselves, and in the case of Ramona Fricosu and her computer, her appeal was shot down by the 10th Circuit court. But in the latest ruling, The Verge says that the court contends that handing over the drive is fine, but the decrypting aspect counts as testimony. And testimony falls under the umbrella of the Fifth. But Fricosu's case might be a bit different since the court already had testimony about the computer's contents, and thus had some idea what was on there. So the two rulings might not be as at odds as they seem. [US Courts via Wired via Slashdot via The Verge]

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