Federal Prosecutors Seek Order to Force Colorado Woman to Decrypt Computer (January 4, 2012) Federal prosecutors in Denver, Colorado are seeking a court order that would force Ramona Fricosu to enter the password to decrypt her laptop computer. They believe that the machine contains evidence that would help convict Fricosu and her former husband in a bank fraud case. The pair was allegedly involved in a complex mortgage fraud scheme that stole more than US $900,000 from banks in the Colorado Springs area.
Prosecutors say that Fricosu does not have to divulge her password; she can enter the password without it being noted as long as they eventually gain access to the information on the computer.
[Editor's Note (Murray): The court is entitled to the best evidence. It cannot force one to make a record. However, once a record is made, one may not conceal it from the court. The intent of the 5th amendment was to prevent "witch trials," the conviction of one on only their own coerced testimony. The written or electronic record, on the other hand, says what it says."
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