Friday, November 28, 2014

Aged Law Urped Up to Decrypt Phone Data

The Justice Department is turning to a 225-year-old law to tackle a very modern problem: password-protected cellphones.

Prosecutors last month asked a federal magistrate in Manhattan to order an unnamed phone maker to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to unlock a password-protected phone that could contain evidence in a credit-card-fraud case, according to court filings... 

...the government on Oct. 10 obtained a search warrant to examine the contents of the phone. In the credit-card case, the phone was locked, so prosecutors asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein to order the manufacturer to unlock it. They cited the All Writs Act, originally part of a 1789 law that gives courts broad authority to carry out their duties. (more)