The legislation, RIPA Part 3—the dummy consultation exercise—the powers—the penalties—and since the UK government already has similar legislation in place to deal with individuals who are suspected of being terrorists, what information is the UK government really after?
Now back in the year 2000 Blair, with the aid of his “yes” men, bulldozed through the British Parliament the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). But Part 3 of the act was not brought into force at the time. Blair is now engaged in a “consultation” process to see whether any amendments are necessary before bringing Part 3 into effect. We should point out that Blair has a different dictionary from the rest of us; he’s definition of “consult” may be found in more pedestrian dictionaries under headings such as “dupe”, “gull”, “hoodwink”, and “flimflam”.
The essence of Part 3 of the legislation is that it gives the police powers to force individuals to hand over their encryption keys or to force them to decrypt their data.
And what is the penalty for failing to comply with RIPA, Part 3? Under the new legislation you can get two years in prison for not handing over your encryption keys or for failing to decrypt your data.
The Real Reason
Now Blair is pedalling this snake-oil legislation using the “Will Protect you from Terrorists” label, while failing to mention that under current anti-terrorist laws you can get five years in prison for not handing over your encryption keys if Blair thinks you might be a terrorist.
Why then would Blair wish to introduce such draconian legislation to deal with people who aren’t suspected of being terrorists? … Well … Well, of course you just might have some commercial or diplomatic secrets that Blair could use, and if you belong to an opposing political party or to some tiresome pressure group then your correspondence would also make for interesting reading!
So, while it’s quite clear what the “punishment” is, we’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide upon who exactly is “the criminal”!