[cryptography] Constitutional Showdown Voided as Feds Decrypt Laptop

Jeffrey Walton noloader at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 12:02:32 EST 2012


On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 5:53 PM, James S. Tyre <jstyre at jstyre.com> wrote:
> (This is the case in Colorado, not the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals case which has been
> much discussed of late.)
>
> http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/decryption-flap-mooted
>
> Constitutional Showdown Voided as Feds Decrypt Laptop
>
>    By David Kravets
>    Email Author
>    February 29, 2012 |
>    5:17 pm
>
> Colorado federal authorities have decrypted a laptop seized from a bank-fraud defendant,
> mooting a judge's order that the defendant unlock the hard drive so the government could
> use its contents as evidence against her.
>
> The development ends a contentious legal showdown over whether forcing a defendant to
> decrypt a laptop is a breach of the 5th Amendment right against compelled self
> incrimination.
>
> The authorities seized the encrypted Toshiba laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu in 2010
> with valid court warrants while investigating alleged mortgage fraud, and demanded she
> decrypt it. Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered the woman in January to
> decrypt the laptop by the end of February. The judge refused to stay his decision to allow
> Fricosu time to appeal.
>
> "They must have used or found successful one of the passwords the co-defendant provided
> them," Fricosu's attorney, Philip Dubois, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Perhaps Fricosu reused a password and was on a mailing list using Mailman...



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