Fifth Amendment Rights for Passwords?

Here is a very interesting article, Judge: Man can’t be forced to divulge encryption passphrase, where a federal judge in Vermont ruled that prosecutors cannot compel a criminal defendant to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase due to their Fifth Amendment rights.

The Fifth Amendment

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

This could turn out to be a landmark cybersecurity civil rights case, especially if the ruling is appealed.

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