COMPUTER PASSWORDS AND FIFTH AMENDMENT PLEADINGS

The U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont held that a criminal suspect has a Fifth Amendment right not to disclose a computer password to investigators. The decision was rendered in the case of In Re Grand Jury Subpoena to Sebastien Boucher, where defendant was suspected to possess child pornography images in his laptop.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Would entry of the password by Boucher without actual submission of the password to the authorities amount to self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment?
What are the implications of the District Court of Vermont’s ruling in the above case?
How have the United Kingdom and European Union dealt with similar questions?

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