Passwords, Encrypted Hard Drives, Constitutional Rights and Privileges

March 6, 2012  |  New York Law Journal

A recent case from the Eleventh Circuit addresses the intersection of the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination and digital evidence. While courts may seek to insure that criminals cannot use encryption techniques to hide digital evidence and defeat otherwise valid subpoenas and warrants, the case examines to what extent a citizen can be expected to cooperate in these efforts through the provision of passwords or decrypted hard drives without waiving his own constitutional protections.

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