Forced Decryption and the 5th Amendment: Analytical Issues in the 11th Circuit’s Recent Decision

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal and Volokh Conspiracy reported that the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently decided that forcing a suspect to decrypt and provide a hard drive when the government did not already know what it contained violates the suspect’s Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. While most of the Court’s analysis seems correct, I have a few problems with some parts of the analysis and have tried addressing these issues Continue Reading →

Your Smartphone; A Prosecutor’s Best Witness

Introduction Witnesses in the United States may choose to exercise their right to “plead the Fifth,” or refuse to answer a question because the response could provide self incriminating evidence of an illegal act. But how strong is this right if a prosecutor is already aware of where a witness was, what they saw, what they heard, and in some ways even what they were thinking at any given time on any given day? I Continue Reading →