Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Aaron Burr and Compulsory Key Disclosure

Orin Kerr has a fascinating tidbit at Volokh, “Encryption, the Fifth Ammendment, and Aaron Burr:

Following my posts last week on encryption and the Fifth Amendment, a few readers asked about how courts have dealt with such issues before. As far as I know, there is only one other judicial decision specifically addressing the Fifth Amendment implications of decrypting ciphertext. Remarkably, it arose 200 years ago, in the treason trial of former Vice-President Aaron Burr.