Sextortion suspect must unlock her seized iPhone, judge rules [telecom]

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Sextortion suspect must unlock her seized iPhone, judge rules

A Miami-Dade county judge has ruled that two defendants in a
sextortion case must provide police with the passwords to their
respective iPhones so authorities can unlock the devices and execute a
search warrant.

Whether or not courts can force individuals to give up passwords to
their locked computers or phones is not a settled matter. In essence,
the question it boils down to is: "Is giving up a password
testimonial, and therefore in violation of the Fifth Amendment? Or is
it more like being asked to give up a key to a safety deposit box?"

***** Moderator's Note *****

The key to a safe-deposit box isn't anywhere near as secure as a
4096-bit cipher that the NSA can't break in any reasonable amount of
time (or won't admit they can crack, which has the same result) - if a
suspect won't hand over the key, a judge can order a bank to drill the
lock, and the courts see whatever was in the box.

However, if a suspect has a lock that can't be drilled, i.e., an
encryption protected smart phone, then the courts have to try to
coerce them into surrendering the key. If the suspect says "No", we're
into new and uncharted waters. The Clipper chip died stillborn, so the
remaining options are to force manufacturers to put hidden backdoors
into their algorithms, or to start reminding the peasants of their
lowly status in the new world order.

It remains to be seen if our newly-minted SCOTUS will hold that
indefinite jail terms and/or torture are really what the founding
fathers intended all along.  

Bill Horne

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