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Feds Urge Court to Reject Laptop Decryption Appeal

• David Kravets
 

The government is urging a federal appeals court not to entertain an appeal from a bank-fraud defendant who has been ordered to decrypt her laptop so its contents can be used in her criminal case.

Colorado federal authorities seized the encrypted Toshiba laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu in 2010 with valid court warrants while investigating alleged mortgage fraud, and demanded she decrypt it.

Ruling that the woman’s Fifth Amendment rights against compelled self-incrimination would not be breached, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered the woman in January to decrypt the laptop by the end of February. The judge refused to stay his decision to allow Fricosu time to appeal.

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