Volokh Conspiracy: Two New Cases on Decrypting Locked Devices by Orin Kerr
One on the Fifth Amendment, and one on Miranda. Both correctly decided, I think.
I’ve blogged a lot over the years on the rules for government efforts to unlock encrypted devices such as phones and computer hard drives. I thought I would flag two recent opinions from federal Magistrate Judges on these issues.
The first case, In re Search of a Residence in Aptos, California, 2018 WL 1400401 (N.D.Cal. March 20, 2018), considers the Fifth Amendment standard for compelling a suspect to enter in a passcode to unlock a device. The second case, United States v. Jackson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55965 (D. Minn. Feb. 27, 2018), considers whether the government can use a passcode obtained from a suspect in violation of Miranda v. Arizona to unlock his phone.
I was pleased to see that, in both cases, the judges shared my view of the law advocated in my past blog posts. I’ll consider each new decision in turn.