The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-oriented civil liberties organization, maintains that a judge or grand jury’s ability to legally obtain passwords from a defendant is not impossible (and it may still be needed in the case of the Virginia defendant’s phone if it’s doubly secured with, say, a PIN and Touch ID), but that process remains “legally complicated.” This means the Circuit Court judge’s position, if it’s not struck down by a higher court, could streamline the typical process involved in gaining access to secured smartphones, tablets, or PCs, assuming they are able to be unlocked with fingerprints sensors.

Monday, November 3, 2014