Robert E. Blackburn
Robert Edward Blackburn (born 1950) is a United States federal judge.
Blackburn was born in Lakewood, Colorado. He received a B.A. from Western State College of Colorado in 1972. He received a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School in 1974. He was in private practice in Las Animas, Colorado from 1975 to 1980. He was a deputy district attorney of Sixteenth Judicial District Attorney's Office, Colorado from 1980 to 1986. He was a county attorney of Bent County, Colorado from 1980 to 1988. He was a Municipal judge, Town of Kim, Colorado from 1985 to 1988. He was a judge on the Sixteenth Judicial District of Colorado from 1988 to 2002.
Blackburn was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Blackburn was nominated by President George W. Bush on September 10, 2001, to a seat vacated by Zita L. Weinshienk. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 26, 2002, and received his commission on March 6, 2002.
Jurisprudence in practice
Blackburn has argued that the Fifth Amendment protection from individuals being compelled to testifying against themselves does not apply to testimony which is required to decrypt a protected data source in order to provide prosecutors with evidence. He suggests that the convenience of prosecutors in acquiring evidence in this manner overrules the otherwise inalienable right to avoid being "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself".  Critics have argued that since the password to an encrypted data source is a part of the defendant's mind, compelled testimony to reveal it is a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment.
- Robert E. Blackburn at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Judge: Americans can be forced to decrypt their laptops, cnet.com, January 23, 2012, retrieved January 24, 2010
- BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT FRICOSU’S OPPOSITION TO GOVERNMENT’S APPLICATION UNDER THE ALL WRITS ACT REQUIRING DEFENDANT TO ASSIST IN THE EXECUTION OF PREVIOUSLY ISSUED SEARCH WARRANTS, eff.org, July 8, 2011, retrieved January 24, 2010