The iPhone is Making Encryption Trendy, But Is There A Catch?

""Encryption will seriously interfere with the ability to routinely intercept communication, as our national intelligence seems to be doing domestically," says Ryan Calo, who studies law and emerging technology at the University of Washington. "It's been designed, tested with usability in mind, by people with three letters after their name. It's usable, and mainstream. People don't feel weird about using it."

Calo points out that the government does have a powerful tool for compelling a suspect to decrypt his phone. It's called "jail." Assuming the government obtains a search warrant, a suspect must decrypt a phone or be thrown in jail for contempt of court.

"You can force people to decrypt," he says. "That's not perceived to be a Fifth Amendment violation, usually. You're not self-incriminating by decrypting your phone.""