Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds No Compelled Disclosure of Computer Passwords

On November 20, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Davis held that a defendant in a criminal case cannot be compelled to disclose a password protecting an encrypted computer under the so-called foregone conclusion exception to the doctrine of self-incrimination in the Fifth…

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Government May Compel Disclosure of Encryption Passwords in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued another troubling, computer-related opinion in late November 2017. Commonwealth v. Davis holds that the Pennsylvania government can compel an individual to disclose a computer password for an encrypted computer. Commonwealth v. Davis, 2017 PA Super 376 (Nov. 30,…

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Pennsylvania Case Addresses Authenticating Text Messages

On 16 September 2011, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Comm. v. Koch, 2011 PA Super 201 (Sept. 16, 2011) (slip-opinion) re-emphasized
“authentication of electronic communications, like documents, requires more than mere confirmation that the number or address belonged to a particular person. Circumstantial evidence, which tends to corroborate the identity of the sender, is required.”

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A Snapshot of Social Media Cases in Pennsylvania—Summer 2011

An Overview of the State of Social Media Evidence in Pennsylvania—Summer 2011

Pennsylvania lawyers face obstacles when grappling with social media. While social media, outside the legal field, spread like wildfire, the legal community must address social media within the context of a heavily precedential system—a system that does not necessarily handle the “new” well. Social media in a legal context triggers formidable ethical issues, moral issues, and fairness issues. Nevertheless, social media will remain a potent facet of life for the foreseeable future.

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Pennsylvania Court Opinion Implicates Authentication of Social Media Evidence

A recent Commonwealth Court decision, Chapman v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review 20 A.3d 603 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2011), illustrates 1) the growing presence of social media evidence and 2) the potential for social media authentication issues in legal matters —including in administrative law matters.[FN1] Authentication of social media evidence is an emerging issue.

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Facebook Download Your Information Basics for Lawyers

Original publication, PDF Version at JD Supra

In October 2010, Facebook released a new utility that allows a Facebook user to download the contents of his or her Facebook Member Profile.[FN1] Because Facebook features prominently in many areas of law, lawyers will probably encounter Facebook materials in a matter at some point, and lawyers may need basic familiarity with the current capabilities of the utility (as of March 2011).

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