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Prosecutors try again to gain access to child porn suspect's hard drives

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Milwaukee’s federal prosecutors are using a new legal tactic to get a child pornography suspect to decrypt his hard drives, so the evidence against him can be debated in court.

FBI experts found nothing but garble when they tried to check Jeffrey Feldman’s computer for child porn.

Federal Magistrate Judge William Callahan ordered Feldman to decrypt the files for investigators. Feldman said it would violate his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, and Judge Rudolph Randa delayed the decryption order so the constitutional issue can be debated.

Now, prosecutors are worried that Feldman, of West Allis, might forget his passwords if the court orders his files to be decrypted. So they’re asking the judge to make Feldman decrypt the files now, and have them placed in a camera so they can be viewed if need be.

Prosecutors said it would preserve Feldman’s 5th Amendment rights, but Feldman’s attorney said it’s not necessary.

Robin Shellow said agents to claim to have other evidence from Feldman’s data, so decrypting the hard drives is not required to make the government’s case.

Feldman has not been charged with anything, while the constitutional issues are being argued. 

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