Liberty Safes ?

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Attached is the statement by "Liberty Safes"
The warrants mentioned in the statement are NOT warrants directed at Liberty. They are search warrants for the home of an individual suspect. Liberty was and is under NO obligation to comply with such REQUESTS. Liberty furnished a non-erasable factory code to the FBI which opens a number of safes (possibly all, and almost definitely all in the series in question.)This was done OVER THE PHONE merely because the FBI requested it with NO legal strings attached. For Liberty to have any justification for this action, they would have at least had to receive a subpoena. Even if the FBI had sent them a subpoena, it is highly questionable that they would have been required to comply. (remember the stink over Apple not releasing break-out codes for the iphone a few years ago?) If you have one of these electronic safes, just know that the FBI and anyone they decide to share the information with, probably has a combination to your safe that you probably didn't even know existed.
Even if you had called and asked about it, they would have lied and said such a code doesn't exist. How do I know? A couple of years ago I called and asked about this and other things when a friend had a problem with his safe.
Besides, Liberty safes,  are not hard to break into. Quality bits will cut  through the steel, and any good locksmith can drill and open it fairly easily. (Drill location is the only critical factor.)So easily, that in my local market, you?re talking about less than 200 bucks. The youtube videos you see of people prying, cutting, and beating are made to get views by people that either don?t know what they?re doing or don't want to give away "secrets" of the trade.

Seems to me, we have a company that just turned over a master key to many (thousands?)of the safes sold to their customers. .. A key that is not serial # specific, otherwise they would have had no reason to withhold from their customers (much less deny its existence). Which over the years, would have caused many customers to have their safes drilled or broken when they otherwise could have simply opened it...
to save the feds a couple hundred bucks in one case...
with no interest in saving their customers money and damage to their safes.

At least in my friend's case, it was a good ending and was able to crack it electronically, so drilling wasn't necessary.

That's not comforting.  wonder how many other companies have done the same?  Those electronic locks are handy, but that's a drawback that most of us probably didn't think of.

to be fair, I'm assuming the master code is not erasable. It may be ... through reprogramming ... either through a special sequence entered through the keypad (EXTREMELY doubtful) or interfacing with a computer (maybe), or some other special procedure. Never felt the need to find out.
There may be different codes for different models or even different serial ranges. Liberty isn't talking... and given my experience, I wouldn't trust what they had to say anyway.
anyhoo, being a packrat, it turns out that I still have the old parts so I might just play with them if I get time, and see if I can learn anything.

All of the "safes" of that type are best looked at as heavy duty lockers whether they are electronic or dial. Generally speaking the dial ones are easier to get into without damage than the electronic ones because there are more people that have the skill set for dial. Drill works pretty much equally on both.

Here's a pic of the parts I still have .. what "latches" into a cam is the metal protrusion from the black rectangular box. Inside the box is a solenoid for the metal latch and all of the "real business" of the circuit board. Keypad is just I/O
Might not be able to learn anything from them. The method I used to crack it was certain to stress the main board, and may have burned it out... worked once, tho .. and all I needed at the time :wink:

one concern I have is ... how secure is the code now? .... I don't trust the FBI to not leak it or not share it with other law enforcement that might leak it... as in dirty cop sell it.

Ben Framed:
What specifically did the search warrant 'of the safe' say in regards to the charges the man was facing? In other words what was suspected to be 'in the safe' that would be directly related to the case? Just curious, was concrete evidence found in the safe that directly helped the FBI in this case?  Was 'unrelated' evidence found other than the specific written request laid out in this search warrant? If so, how would this 'other' evidence be 'legally' handled or presented?

How has this worked with Iphones in the past, concerning Apple Corporation for example, opening a suspect's confiscated locked phone for similar searches 'for specific' evidence?

Ben .. Legally speaking, Your entire first paragraph is irrelevant to what liberty safes was required to do. They were not issued a warrant. They were not issued a subpoena.(Nor were they issued an order under the All Writs Act as Apple was in several cases). All of the things you brought up are between the suspect and the FBI.

The FBI was given the power to open the safe by the warrant. This, they could have easily done by either obtaining a combination from the suspect or drilling the safe if he was uncooperative. The warrant did not authorize them to gain effortless access to many safes owned by many innocent Americans. But they did get that access with what amounts to an informal phone call to Liberty Safes.

Long story short with the cases involving Apple ... was that Apple stood up to the feds in the privacy interests of their customers. In all cases they either stopped the orders by having a judge rule in their favor or continued to appeal "up the ladder" until LE dropped the issue.(often because LE found other ways to get into the devices). Constitutionally speaking, the matter has not been settled in the courts. Conflicting judgments exist in different jurisdictions.

Another thing I'd point out is that any evidence in the safe was in no danger of being destroyed by drilling the safe. This is in contrast to breaking into an iphone, where the data will be destroyed if a wrong move is made. (one of the biggest arguments made by the govt. to compel Apple in the court cases.)

What is important here : The FBI had no justification to ask for a master combination to an unknown number of safes owned by law abiding Americans. Liberty Safes was not in any way required to give them that combination, much less legally compelled.

It's a matter of principle here. If this is allowed, there is nothing to stop the same thing from happening with certain door locks for houses. There are also legal implications concerning possession of a key, but that's another rabbit hole.


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