Texas joined a Utah-led amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to take a case that asks whether the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination permits a suspect to refuse to unlock their electronic devices even if law enforcement has a warrant. In this case, the Pennsylvania Attorney General investigated and arrested Joseph Davis, who was suspected of sharing child pornography online. Although the Pennsylvania Attorney General obtained a warrant, Davis refused to share the password to his computer, which contains evidence of his criminal activity. Today’s friend-of-the-court brief describes how encryption works and shows that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court incorrectly held that the Fifth Amendment protects the suspect.
Read a copy of the amicus brief here.