The case of Muhammad Rabbani, who refused to disclose his password in order to protect a client’s private information, is a sobering reminder of just how low Britain’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation has sunk.
Rabbani said he could not provide access to his devices because they contained confidential information, provided to him by one of Cage’s clients, about alleged acts of U.S. torture. Previously in 2013, following the case of David Miranda and the controversy it caused, the police were issued with a revised code of practice that informed them they must not review or copy information that are “attorney-client privileged, journalistic material, or another kind of information held in confidence, which a person has “acquired or created in the course of any trade, business, profession, or other occupation. ”
This and even acknowledging the sensitivity and importance of protecting client information, the judge still found him guilty of the “willful obstruction of the lawful examination in the circumstances.”
His decision to maintain a privileged stance for his client has meant a conviction under terrorism laws. He now joins the line of those whose only crime was to browse websites, write poetry and commit other acts which have nothing whatsoever to do with killing and violence.
When the police complain they are under-resourced to tackle ‘real’ threats, we hope people remember that the criminal justice system has been tied up with bogus crimes like this one – as well as policing the Islamic beliefs or politically incorrect opinions of school children under the Prevent policy.
Such, laws would not look out of place on the statute books of Vladimir Putin – and expose the Orwellian nature of this legislation.
Those who argue that these laws are meant to protect the public from terror attacks, would do well to recall the aforementioned case of David Miranda, who was detained – his mobile phone, laptop, DVDs and other items seized – because of his association with the journalist Glenn Greenwald at the time of the Wikileaks affair, which had exposed the extent of state-surveillance and that such laws are used against people who nothing to do with terror crime.
It is our view that if opinion formers in society recognise the real nature of Britain’s terror laws, this guilty verdict may help to bring the end to these laws. But if Britain’s establishment maintains its silence and continues to appease such manifest injustice, the effect of this verdict will be to fuel a further collapse of confidence in the capitalist system – a system which preaches tolerance of opinions and an open society – but in practice clamps down on beliefs and ideas that expose its fault lines.
Read original article: http://news.sky.com/story/man-guilty-of-terror-offence-for-not-unlocking-iphone-11052785