April 18, 2019 - 10:00am PDT
Wabash, Indiana

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 18, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue to the Indiana Supreme Court that the police cannot force a criminal suspect to turn over a passcode or otherwise be forced to unlock a cell phone. The case is Katelin Seo v. State of Indiana. 

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states that people cannot be forced to incriminate themselves, and it’s well settled that the privilege protects against “testimonial” communications. However, courts have struggled with how to apply the Fifth Amendment to compelled decryption of encrypted devices.

EFF was invited to take part in this important case as amicus. In Thursday’s hearing, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker will explain that the forced unlocking of a device requires someone to disclose “the contents of his mind.” That is analogous to written or oral testimony, and is therefore protected under the Constitution.

Thursday’s hearing is in Indiana’s Wabash County to give the public the opportunity to observe the work of the court. Over 750 students are scheduled to attend the argument. It will also be live-streamed.

The hearing will be at:

Ford Theater

Honeywell Center

275 W. Market Street

Wabash, Indiana 46992 

For more information on attending the argument in Wabash:


For more on this case: