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West Allis man who claims FBI wanted him to incriminate himself charged

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

WEST ALLIS, WI (WTAQ) - A West Allis man, who said the FBI wanted him to incriminate himself by decrypting his computer drives, has been charged with handling child pornography.

Federal investigators said they managed to decrypt two of Jeffrey Feldman’s 9 hard drives without the defendant’s help.

So Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee charged Feldman with two federal counts of receiving or distributing child pornography, and one count of possessing it.

The case has been closely watched by those concerned about protecting people’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in a digital age.

Defense attorney Robin Shellow said the charges appeared to be in timed in a way that would pressure Feldman into decrypting his other 7 hard drives. The government was supposed to file a legal brief Wednesday, explaining why a decrypting order would not violate Feldman’s Fifth Amendment rights.

FBI agents arrested the 46-year-old Feldman at his workplace at Rockwell Automation – something his lawyer criticized, after he promised to turn himself in upon being charged.