Miami sextortion case asks if a suspect be forced to decrypt an iPhoneEnlarge / Hencha Voigt (left) is accused of extorting Julieanna Goddard (right).

For now, Voigt is refusing to enter the passcode to her seized iPhone. (credit: Hencha Voigt / )
Next week, a local judge in Miami-Dade County, Florida, is expected to issue a key ruling in a bizarre sextortion case involving two Miami-area social media personalities.
The question before the court is one that has vexed other judges in recent years: can a person be forced to give up a password to decrypt their seized devices? Or, put another way, does the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination allow people to keep their encrypted devices locked? “I’m going to have to read these cases with a fine-tooth comb,” Circuit Judge Charles Johnson said at a hearing this week, according to the Miami Herald. “I’m surprised by this case.”
This issue is far from settled law.

A former Philadelphia police officer has remained in custody for 18 months and counting for refusing to decrypt a seized hard drive that authorities believe contains child pornography. While the facts in that Pennsylvania case are different from the Florida case, the underlying issue remains the same.
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