Courts Struggle with Criminal Searchers of Computers

With more criminal cases depending on forensic computer searches, courts must decide between the user's perspective of a computer as a locked box protecting its virtual contents, and the law-enforcement perspective of a computer as a physical container, easily opened. A recent 10th Circuit case turned a spotlight on how appellate courts grapple with third-party consents to search computers, recognizing for the first time that a password-protected computer is like a locked box.

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