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Encryption Blog

Flores v. Figueroa Update

Created: 25 Feb 2009 • Updated: 05 Nov 2012
Doug McLean's picture
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I wrote about this case in October and thought at the time it represented a case of prosecutorial indulgence. The issue at stake here is whether or not an undocumented immigrant that uses false identification can be charged with identity theft if the data on the false documentation actually belongs to someone else.

To be clear, the case does not address the issues associated with immigrating illegally or using false documents to obtain work or social benefits. Even the defendent's counsel concedes his client is guilty of those infractions. The sole issue in question here is if you create or purchase a fake Social Security card with an I.D. number on it that belongs to someone else, have you in addition committed identity theft.  It seems like a reach to me and  in October the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Based on this AP story it's looking like Chief Justice Roberts and his colleagues may agree with me.