Irish police can force suspects to provide passwords

Irish police officers will be given new powers that will allow them to require people to give up the password or encryption key to, for example, their phone or computer via a court search warrant. Those who do not cooperate can end up behind bars. The power is part of a new law that gives police more power and was announced today by the Irish Department of Justice.

By law, Irish police can require individuals to provide their passwords in order to search their electronic devices. Anyone who does not provide their password is committing a crime and can be sentenced to a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to 30,000 euros. The power should make it easier for the Irish police to search suspects' phones, among other things.

Sources tell The Irish Times that individuals can only be convicted of not providing their passwords if they are suspected of committing a crime and obstructing the investigation of the crime

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