July 2016

Louis Feuchtbaum co-authors”The Law’s Breakable Protections for Unbreakable Encryption” for The Recorder


A client comes to you because FBI agents seized his iPhone pursuant to a search warrant, which seeks particular records that are stored within it. The client has kept his iPhone locked at all times because it contains sensitive data that may be incriminating to him, and the government is now seeking to compel his assistance in unlocking that device. The client wants to know whether he can be forced to assist the FBI’s investigation against him in this manner. Surprisingly, the answer to that question may depend upon which mechanism the client used to lock his iPhone: An unbreakable electronic “lock,” such as a thumbprint or other biometric, may be less secure than a four-digit password that could be easily cracked because the law may treat differently the compelled production of each “key.”