June 27, 2011 (EFF) -- The police want to search my server, my personal computer, or my phone. What do I do now?
Don’t consent to a search.
• Say “No,” and tell the police to come back with a warrant.
• If you voluntarily agree to a search, they don’t need a warrant to enter your house or search your computer.
Ask to see a search warrant.
• If the police say they have a warrant, you have a right to see it.
• Make sure they are only searching the areas the warrant authorizes them to search.
You can stay silent.
• You don’t have to say a word to the police or help their search.
• You don’t have to give your encryption keys or passwords to the police.
• If you decide to talk to the police, tell them the truth -- lying to the police is a crime.
• Once the police are searching your home or computer, don’t interfere or obstruct their search.
Talk to a lawyer.
• If the police want to search your home, your business, or your electronic devices -- or even just talk to you -- you should talk to a lawyer before any search or discussion with the police, if possible.
• A lawyer can help you deal with the police, and may be able to help you get back any electronic devices the police took from you while searching.