Man Jailed Indefinitely for Refusing to Decrypt Hard Drives Loses Appeal
Forensic examination also disclosed that Doe [Rawls] had downloaded thousands of files known by their “hash” values to be child pornography. The files, however, were not on the Mac Pro, but instead had been stored on the encrypted external hard drives. Accordingly, the files themselves could not be accessed.
The court also noted that the authorities “found [on the Mac Book Pro] one image depicting a pubescent girl in a sexually suggestive position and logs that suggested the user had visited groups with titles common in child exploitation.” They also said the man’s sister had “reported” that her brother showed her hundreds of pictures and videos of child pornography. All of this, according to the appeals court, meant that the lower court lawfully ordered Rawls to unlock the drives.
“The Magistrate Judge did not commit a clear or obvious error in his application of the foregone conclusion doctrine,” the court ruled. “In this regard, the Magistrate Judge rested his decision rejecting the Fifth Amendment challenge on factual findings that are amply supported by the record.”
The suspect’s attorney, Federal Public Defender Keith Donoghue, was disappointed by the ruling.