A man from Florida refused to give up his iPhone passcode to police and in return judge ruled against to sentence the man for 180 days. This is the latest happening stirring the battle between the law enforcement agencies and having legal access to smartphones.
Christopher Wheeler, 41, was taken into police custody in Broward Circuit Court for not providing the passcode to police. However, he kept on insisting that he had already provided the passcode to the police in the investigation of child abuse. Police on the contrary told court that the provided passcode wasn’t working on the device.
“I swear, I had provided them the right passcode”, said a distraught Wheeler. His hands were handcuffed behind his back and face deeply worried with expressions. While this was happening in Broward Circuit Court a similar matter was unfolding in Miami-Dade. A man was accused of extorting social media celebrity over stolen sex-tapes.
That man Wesley Vector having an alleged part in sex-tapes along with his girlfriend was ordered to give his smartphone passcode in the court. However, he stated that he had forgotten the passcode. The judge wanted to know the passcode in order to unfold his collusion in extortion plot. Wesley Vector insister on his statement and finally after a year judge ruled that there was no way to prove he still remembered his passcode, so he wouldn’t hold him in contempt of the court. Wesley’s lawyer said that the judge made the right call, even normal people forget their passcode after a year.
The above discussed cases describe the court’s stress over ordering deffendants their iPhone passcode. Critics say that such a legal deman violate the citizen’s fifth amendment.
Getting back to the first case of Wheeler vs state, where he has been given 180 days sentence, the man is accused of child abuse and police thinks that his smartphone contains images which may prove his invovlement in molesting the child. Judge says that if Wheeler can provide a working passcode then his sentence can be ended.