We here in America can always look at the UK, which is slightly farther down the road to serfdom than us, for a look at what the future might hold for us. Britain has something called a “Chief Surveillance Commissioner.”
Two people have been successfully prosecuted for refusing to provide authorities with their encryption keys, resulting in landmark convictions that may have carried jail sentences of up to five years.
The government said today it does not know their fate.
The power to force people to unscramble their data was granted to authorities in October 2007. Between 1 April, 2008 and 31 March this year the first two convictions were obtained.
The disclosure was made by Sir Christopher Rose, the government’s Chief Surveillance Commissioner, in his recent annual report.
Dissecting Leftism comments:
Are Americans looking forward to getting a “Chief Surveillance Commissioner”? It’s your turn next if America’s Leftists stay in complete control for long. Note that the trial appears to have been held in secret and the names and prison sentences (if any) of the “offenders”, plus what they were originally suspected of are all secret. Even the Gestapo could not do better secrecy than that.
In America the power “to force people to unscramble their data” might go to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Of course, there are complicated legal issues, such the power of subpoena involved. Still, the idea of a Chief Surveillance Commissioner secretly punishing people for defending their privacy is disturbing.