You don’t need to look to Beijing—or even the future—to find the answer to that question. The newly proposed British spying law, the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), already includes methods that would permit the British government to order companies like Apple to re-engineer their own technology, just as the FBI is demanding. Worse, if the law passes, each of these methods would be accompanied by a gag order. Not only would Apple be expected to comply, but the IPB would insist that Tim Cook could not tell the public what was going on without breaking UK law. At least in the current fight between Apple and the US government, we’re having the debate out loud and in public.
I’m always reminded of ‘V for Vendetta’ when I read about the absurdity of UK laws, and little to no public outcry.