The government does not have the right to force a criminal to say what he is thinking.
Does it have the right to enter his mind by way of his computer, which he encrypted? Isn’t this like a key to his memory?
The U.S. District Court in Denver says no. The tenth Court of Appeals refused to comment until after the defendant has complied with the government’s order.
Her lawyer says she may have forgotten the password.
Haven’t we all forgotten passwords?
Prosecutors had argued the password was like gaining a key to a lock box and other instances where a defendant signs documents to allow investigators to access overseas accounts.
But DuBois said that the order establishes “a very dangerous precedent that a person may be forced to assist in her prosecution in a way the law has not seen ever before.”
In a procedure agreed upon by DuBois and federal prosecutors, federal agents would meet Fricosu at a designated place with the laptop, which was seized during a search warrant. Then, the government will either look away or go to another room while Fricosu enters a password on her laptop and hands it back to agents so the hard drive can be copied.
There are few cases that deal with this issue.
The sophistication of the codes that anyone can use is so great that it takes years to crack them, if they can be cracked at all.
Bottom line: if the governments wants in, it can force you to let in.
So, don’t forget your password. That would make the government very upset.