Forced File Decryption Urged by Court Prosecutors

July 1, 2013 | Kyle Chayka

Prosecutors are urging a federal judge to demand that a Wisconsin man immediately decrypt several hard drives that they believe to contain child pornography.

The defendant Jeffrey Feldman, currently facing child pornography possession charges, left seven hardrives encrypted and inaccessible to prosecutors. The defendant’s prosecutor Robin Shellow stated that “My client is not giving up his Fifth Amendment right, period.”

The Supreme Court has never officially ruled in favor of “forced decryption” and continues to be unclear as to whether this is a violation of Feldman’s Fifth Amendment rights.

The deliberation regarding file encryption has already lasted months and is currently ongoing. It goes to show that many of our technology related laws are outdated at best and are in serious need of some revaluation and recontextualisation.