Massachusetts Ignores 5th Amendment; Says Defendant Can Be Forced To Decrypt His Computer

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Massachusetts Ignores 5th Amendment; Says Defendant Can Be Forced To Decrypt His Computer

For many years, courts have struggled with the legal question of whether or not law enforcement can force a defendant in a lawsuit to decrypt encrypted files. All the way back in 2007, we wrote about a judge in Vermont finding that such forced decryption represented a Fifth Amendment violation, as it could be considered a form of self-incrimination. However, that was just one court. Other courts have ruled the other way. Not surprisingly, the Justice Department doesn’t believe the Fifth Amendment should apply in these situations, but courts still seem to be divided as judges go back and forth on the issue.

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