A man has been put behind the bars for seven months for failing to decrypt two hard drives that investigators believe contains obscene images of children.

Man Jailed For Failing To Crack Encrypted Hard Drives

The government used the All Writs Act of 1789 to pressurise the suspect who is a ex Philadelphia Police Department sergeant to unlock two hard drives which it suspects contain obscene images of child sex abuse. The suspect has been imprisoned without charges for the past seven months and will remain in the the jail “until such time that he fully complies” with order to decrypt password protected devices.

To recall, in March 2015 investigators in Delaware County, Pennsylvania confiscated computer equipments from the suspect’s house, including two password protected hard drives.

The suspect’s lawyer claims that revealing the passcode will let law enforcement agency to decrypt the hard drives, which would disregard his constitutional rights.

“The order transgresses the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself” claims the lawyer of the suspect.

“Continued incarceration serves neither the prosecutorial interest in this case nor the public interest”.

The defense has appealed the court to free the suspect immediately from his months long imprisonment. The team also quoted the overuse of the All Writs Act to pressurise the suspect to unlock the hard drive.

This case is quite similar to Apple’s San Bernardino case, in which the law enforcement agency FBI ordered Apple to provide them a software which could help them in unlocking the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter. Surprisingly, these hard drives are encrypted with Apple’s FileVault software.

The suspect’s petition state that he visited district lawyer’s office to enter passcodes for the hard drives, however they didn’t work. The petition also state that he should not be pressurized to decrypt the hard drives as they investigators aren’t fully sure whether the hard drives contain obscene images or not.


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