Appeals court rules that phone unlock code can be compelled

PJMedia (quoting the decision)Even with a warrant, they couldn't access the phone without the combination. A trial judge denied the state's motion to force the man to give up the code, considering it equal to compelling him to testify against himself, which would violate the Fifth Amendment. But the Florida Court of Appeals' Second District reversed that decision today, deciding that the passcode is not related to criminal photos or videos that may or may not exist on his iPhone.

This is an obvious violation of the 5th Amendment, which (in theory anyway) blocks being compelled to testify against yourself. The judge draws the analogy to police compelling someone to produce the key to a safe. The problem is that the key to a safe is a physical item, which can be obtained by search warrant. I've never heard of a physical search that compelled the subject to actually assist the police in locating evidence against them. Any such "assistance" is usually obtained by demanding the keys to locks on threat of smashing the whole place if they are not provided. (Often, the whole place is smashed anyway).

And what will they do to you if you claim you can't remember the code? Probably violate the 8th Amendment. That's the one barring "cruel and unusual punishment", if you're wondering.

This entry was published Mon Dec 19 10:18:58 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-12-19 10:18:58.0. [Tweet]

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