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Motion to Quash Subpoena in Sebastien Boucher Case Granted
Sebastien Boucher entered the United States in December of 2006 via Vermont’s Derby Line. He entered the country from Canada with is father. Upon entry, U.S. Border Patrol agents moved Boucher’s vehicle into secondary inspection. This is where they found a laptop in the back seat.
A border patrol agent opened the laptop and inspected the files without needing a password to do so. The agent found some 40,000 images on the computer, many of them consisting of pornographic scenes due to the names of the files. Some of the files had names that suggested they would contain child pornography.
Boucher was taken into custody for possession of child pornography, waived his Miranda rights to explain to the agents why he had the images, and said that he downloads a lot of porn. He said when he discovers child porn he deletes the files immediately. The files on the laptop were encrypted, and agents could not further examine them.
This led to the request of a subpoena against Boucher for the password to the computer in order for the agents to access the files. Boucher moved to quash the subpoena, citing his Fifth Amendment right that prevents him from self-incrimination. The United States District Court for the District of Vermont ordered that the subpoena be quashed for multiple reasons in the case of In Re Boucher. One reason included the fact that password is not physical. It is in the mind of the laptop owner.
Motion to Quash Subpoena in Sebastien Boucher Case Granted by Jim Vassallo