IT Current Trends & Events Blog


Incriminate Yourself!

Data protection is becoming more and more of a compliance requirement for organizations that surround themselves with confidential information (whether it be social security numbers, banking information, or even credit cards), and one key element in protecting the data comes in the form of Data Encryption, often used throughout the world used as a last line of defense in the event of a breach or compromise to a companies network.

One US Citizen, charged by a Colorado District Court, is being accused by the FBI to have key information in the investigation of a Mortgage Scam stored on her “legally seized” laptop. Upon the acquisition of the laptop, authorities found the laptop to be encrypted by a password known only by its owner, and in the Case of US vs. Fricosu, the Colorado district court is deciding whether they can legally compel (or in better terms, “force”) Fricosu to divulge the decryption key that unlocks the hard drive, thus potentially incriminating her in the process.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (backing the accused) is under the belief that due to the lack of presented evidence by the government prosecution with regards to what they expect to find on the laptop or what they are looking for, is simply fishing for evidence to prosecute the defendant, and believes forcing Fricosu to disclose her password is a direct violation of her Fifth Amendment rights (which protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves).

It’s pretty simple, no evidence against the defendant, a clear violation of the users privacy, and an attempt to force a person to violate their civil rights? This case should clearly be dropped, what’s your take on it?

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