From: Threat Level
Forcing a criminal suspect to decrypt hard drives so their contents can be used by prosecutors is a breach of the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
It was the nation’s first appellate court to issue such a finding. And the outcome comes a day after a different federal appeals court refused to entertain an appeal from another defendant ordered by a lower federal court to decrypt a hard drive by month’s end.
Thursday’s decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that an encrypted hard drive is akin to a combination to a safe, and is off limits, because compelling the unlocking of either of them is the equivalent of forcing testimony.