The man was served a section 49 legal notice under RIPA Part III, which gives a suspect a time limit to supply encryption keys or make target data intelligible. Failure to comply is an offence under section 53 of the same Part of the Act and carries a sentence of up to two years imprisonment, and up to five years imprisonment in an investigation concerning national security.
In his final police interview, CTC officers suggested JFL's refusal to decrypt the files or give them his keys would lead to suspicion he was a terrorist or paedophile. "There could be child pornography, there could be bomb-making recipes," said one detective. "Unless you tell us we're never gonna know... What is anybody gonna think?"
JFL says he maintained his silence because of "the principle - as simple as that".
So this is what it has come down to, government punishing people over information. Simply because he had unknown information stored and refused to hand it over to police. That 1967 TV series The Prisoner comes to mind.
I wonder, how long before this comes to the U.S. ?
There was another incident too. David Miranda, a journalist that was working with Glenn Greenwald with The Guardian. He had just gone to Berlin to meet the film-maker Laura Poitras, who was involved at the time in a documentary based on revelations from documents leaked by Edward Snowden. He was on his way back to his home country Brazil, but the return flight made a temporary stop in the U.K. When he landed in Heathrow airport, he was stopped under the Terrorism Act and forced to give up passwords. He had no right to remain silent.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/ ... schedule-7
Here's another thought that occurred to me:
What if someone simply forgot their password? Would they still end up getting jailed? Maybe it was an old file, or an old laptop.
Or what if someone was just simply in possession of an encrypted data file they did not have the password to? I've carelessly downloaded files all the time, and they just sit there in my computer until I finally clear them out many months later.
Or this could even be used by corrupt police to frame someone. Simply put a small disc or flash drive containing encrypted files among the suspect's possessions. The suspect will not know the password so will be unable to comply with demands to open it. The actual information encrypted could be complete gibberish, but no will ever know that.
This just seems like a terrible law that could end up getting misused.
You know, I think there was a REASON that in the U.S. Constitution there was a Fifth Amendment that says "No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself", after the American colonies had just broke away from Britain.
My personal opinion, these are Stasi-like tactics that have no place in the law enforcement of a Free society.
opening sequence from the British TV series The Prisoner:
We are talking about arresting and imprisoning people for the reason of refusing to hand over information, in which police have no idea what that information even is.
And, might I add, in which the suspect never even appeared in front of a judge or was able to legally defend himself.