Is it illegal to own an EncroPhone?
No it is not illegal to own an Encrophone, as a matter of fact is perfectly permissible to own a Encrophone, you may choose to own one due to a multitude of reasons: such as protecting yourself from potential hackers, and any other unwanted individuals that may want to breach your privacy.
You may choose to have an Encrophone due to the fact that encryption codes offer you that blanket of protection, so that it lessens the chance of private information being leaked.
Some people that work in the government or have other high-ranking positions, may choose to use an Encrophone due to the nature of their job; they may have sensitive and confidential information on the device, protecting that data is of the utmost importance. In addition to this, an Encrophone isn’t an exclusive domain reserved for criminals; celebrities also utilised Encrophones, because they wanted their conversations to be secure.
Even if you’re a normal, everyday individual, you may like to own an Encrophone due to protecting sensitive information such as your credit, and private life.
What are Encrypted phones?
An Encrypted phone is when unreadable encrypted codes are installed to give protection against hackers and any other unwanted individuals. A safety feature of encrypted phones is that it requires a unique key code in order to have access to the phones services, which gives it protection- it’s main selling point. Read more about the history of EncroChat phones and the EncroChat Hack here.
Are Encrypted phones legal?
Yes it is perfectly legal to own an Encrophone, you may choose to own one due to a multitude of reasons: such as protecting yourself from potential hackers, and any other unwanted individuals that may want to breach your privacy. You may choose to have an Encrophone due to the fact that encryption codes offer you that blanket of protection, so that it lessens the chance of private information being leaked.
Some people that work in the government may choose to use an Encrophone due to the nature of their job; they may have sensitive and confidential information on the device, protecting that data is of the utmost importance.
Even if you’re a normal, everyday individual, you may choose to own an Encrophone due to protecting credit information, and sensitive information about your private life.
Offenses relating to encrypted phones
As mentioned previously, it is not illegal to own an Encrophone. The only way you can be tried and tested in the court of law, is if the contents of these messages can be used as evidence for any planned and executed criminal activities.
When Encrochat was compromised, we had the opportunity to see the full scale of the variety of crimes which were being plotted, and discussed. These offences ranged from drug dealing, to sexual offences. In these instances, the owner of the phone, and their accomplices, can expect the authorities to arrest them and investigate them for those offences.
Arrested with an Encrochat phone
If you’ve been arrested due to apparently being involved in criminal activity, Newton Law practice can help by providing you the finest support in legal advice, support and legal representation, to make sure you are given the best chance of being acquitted of any accusations.
Do you have to disclose your phone PIN to the police?
No, you don’t have to give your PIN to the police, but do be warned, there could be potential ramifications for this. The main sticky point is whether or not they can take further action if you do happen to say no.
Section 49 of the Regulation of Investigatory powers Act 2000 includes the relevant power. If you encounter a situation where your phone has been seized, or in circumstances where they have the power to inspect it, the police can hand you a notice in which they state that they require you to provide the PIN or “encryption key” to provide them access. This is also relevant for other devices such as computers.
If you don’t release the PIN, the relevant action will take place. If you do have knowledge of the information that is required and refuse to provide this, you can be prosecuted for a maximum of 2 years imprisonment; this is extended to 5 years if you are guilty of being in possession of an offence which is in relation to national security or child indecency.
However, if you genuinely have no valuable information, you could put this forward as a defence to the offence.
According to legislation, a person will be viewed as not being in possession of a key (or PIN) if, “sufficient evidence of that fact is adduced to raise an issue with respect to it and the contrary is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt”.
How does the solicitor defend a charge relating to an encrypted phone
The defence is mainly centred around how exactly the police managed to gain access to the information, and how certain they are that the messages were sent by you. It is important to note, just because a message was sent from your phone, does not mean if it was necessarily you.
What are the legal challenges faced by the Encrochat hack?
Confusion seems to take place when it comes to the legal aspect of whether or not the Encrochat hack took place in the United Kingdom. It’s been an unprecedented time since these arrests have occurred, the secrecy around the police hacking operation caused negative stir within the legal world; as a matter of fact, recently lawyers across seven countries from Europe conjured a letter in which they described their confusion of not knowing the details of what happened in the infamous hacking operation more than 18 months ago. At this moment in time, Encrochat evidence is admissible in criminal cases.
Sentences you can face owning an Encrochat Phone?
Currently there are a vast amount of investigations taking place due to the recent capture of the Encrochat evidence. Any sentences given will be based on the severity of the offences.
Any serious criminal charge handed out can result in serious prison time. For example, if the evidence produced links back to an organised crime group, individuals of all levels within the organisation will be implicated, those at the forefront of the group’s illegal activities can expect to face more than 20 years imprisonment.
Criminal charges of any kind are very allegations, and there is a serious risk of imprisonment being enforced by the court. Therefore , it’s very important to have legal representation. Get in contact with us so we can provide you with the best legal advice.
Future consequences of the Encrochat Phone
It’s a formality that there will be more future arrests made due to the Encrochat phone. At this moment in time, the National Crime Agency (NCA) are focusing on detaining those that have committed serious crimes, such as: murder, rape, and drug trafficking. Over the coming months and years, white collar financial crimes such as embezzlement and money laundering will be under intense scrutiny. As a matter of fact, currently the NCA have liaised with HMRC and the likelihood is, there will be action taken place against those that have committed tax evasion and other fiscal crimes.
EncroChat Legal advice
A pivotal piece of information you need to understand is that owning an Encrophone in not illegal. What makes it illegal, is if the contents within the phone include any form of material that might be considered violent and harmful. This includes crimes such as: drug trafficking, planning murder, committing murder, rape, amongst other heinous acts. Currently , Encorchat evidence is admissible in criminal cases.
How can an EncroChat Cyber Crime Defense Lawyer help you?
The majority of the defence around your case will be focused on how the police obtained the data being used against you, and how reliable these messages are as evidence. Just because a message is sent by your phone, it is difficult to prove that these were actually written by you.
A cyber crime defence lawyer will advise on this evidence and investigate to find additional material that rebuts or undermines the prosecution case. It is important to have a solicitor to ensure that you are being fully protected and understand all of your rights when it comes to EncroChat cases.
If you have any qualms in regards to being arrested in relation to Encrochat, it is pivotal that you enquire about the services of a skilled criminal lawyer imminently. It should be kept in mind that just because police have gathered evidence, does not mean the evidence can be used to bring legal proceedings against you.
Our role at Newton Law will be to gather all the evidence and develop a strong defence strategy for you. Being proactive, and intervening at an early stage will help to avoid conviction. Newton Law is here to help, remember there is a defence for every offence.