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  • Surely if the govt pass a bill which lets them look at this stuff and you are doing something to prevent them from doing so then you're going to open to prosecution etc for withholding the information?

    No.

    Whilst RIPA allows them to request decryption keys with a warrant in the case of any major crime investigation, using SSL web-sites (such as accessing your bank, private email, etc) and encryption tools is not against any law.

    That they will enact a law stating that all internet service providers must notify GCHQ in real-time what you're doing, and that GCHQ can track and scan such things in real-time, does not inherently grant GCHQ right or access to the contents of your internet traffic.

    Unless... you send such information in plain text, thereby allowing them to read it and somewhat implicitly state that you consent to others reading it (by opting to use a plain text service).

    I hate metaphors, similes and over-simplifications, but think of it this way:
    Encryption = putting a letter in an envelope, having written the letter in a language only you and the recipient know
    Regular internet & email = sending a post card, writing in block caps in English

    One is readable by all, and if you're notifying someone that person A is sending to person B, then the post card may well be read by interested third parties (intelligence agencies, companies, etc).

    The other remains sealed, and is protected against being read for even if they opened it (and let's assume you noticed tampering because you'd wax sealed it), they couldn't read it. They'd still know person A sent to person B, but they'd have to get a separate warrant to ask you what you said.

    Further, imagine that in the post card example that they had such man power that they could read ALL of the post cards sent. You know... just in case.

    Then imagine that they had such an amount of paper and card indexes, that they could keep all of the post-cards forever and cross-reference them all.

    And just for good measure, imagine them retroactively creating searches in the future against things you did in the past that were legit at the time (there are great examples of the USA applying their drug rules retroactively to people of other countries where drugs are not illegal or were not illegal when people tried them).

    And with that understanding (which is as accurate as such simplifications could be), realise that the best thing you can do to reasonably protect yourself against future definitions of right and wrong, and how that will be applied to you, is to not use post cards and allow your communications to be recorded evermore and form part of the massively cross-referenced store of knowledge through which they trawl for anyone against the state and the interests of major parties (the copyright lobby in the USA).

    It's not illegal to encrypt your data, it's somewhat daft not to.

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