—(1) For the purposes of investigating an arrestable offence, the Public Prosecutor may by order authorise a police officer or an authorised person to exercise, in addition to the powers under section 39, all or any of the powers under this section.
(2) The police officer or authorised person referred to in subsection (1) shall be entitled to —
access any information, code or technology which has the capability of retransforming or unscrambling encrypted data into readable and comprehensible format or text for the purposes of investigating the arrestable offence;
any person whom he reasonably suspects of using a computer in connection with an arrestable offence or of having used it in this way; or
any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, such computer,
to provide him with such reasonable technical and other assistance as he may require for the purposes of paragraph (a); and
require any person whom he reasonably suspects to be in possession of any decryption information to grant him access to such decryption information as may be necessary to decrypt any data required for the purposes of investigating the arrestable offence.
(3) Any person who obstructs the lawful exercise by a police officer or an authorised person of the powers under subsection (2)(a) or who fails to comply with any requirement of the police officer or authorised person under subsection (2)(b) or (c) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.
(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (3) and it is shown that the encrypted data contains evidence relevant to the planning, preparation or commission of a specified serious offence, he shall, in lieu of the punishment prescribed under subsection (3) —
be liable to be punished with the same punishment prescribed for that specified serious offence, except that the punishment imposed shall not exceed a fine of $50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both; or
be liable to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both where the specified serious offence is punishable on conviction with death or imprisonment for life.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) but subject to subsection (6), “specified serious offence” means an offence under any of the following written laws:
any written law which provides for any offence involving the causing of death or bodily harm;
any written law relating to actions or the threat of actions prejudicial to national security;
any written law relating to radiological or biological weapons;
the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (Cap. 325);
the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations (Cap. 339, Rg 1); and
such other written law as the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, specify.
(6) No offence shall be a specified serious offence for the purposes of subsection (4) unless the maximum punishment prescribed for that offence, whether for a first or subsequent conviction, is —
imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more;
imprisonment for life; or
(7) In proceedings against any person for an offence under this section, if it is shown that that person was in possession of any decryption information at any time before the time of the request for access to such information, that person shall be presumed for the purposes of those proceedings to have continued to be in possession of that decryption information at all subsequent times, unless it is shown that the decryption information —
was not in his possession at the time the request was made; and
continued not to be in his possession after the request was made.
(8) A person who had acted in good faith or in compliance with a requirement under subsection (2) shall not be liable in any criminal or civil proceedings for any loss or damage resulting from the act.
(9) In this section —
“data” means representations of information or of concepts that are being prepared or have been prepared in a form suitable for use in a computer;
“decryption information” means information, code or technology or part thereof that enables or facilitates the retransformation or unscrambling of encrypted data from its unreadable and incomprehensible format to its plain text version;
“encrypted data” means data which has been transformed or scrambled from its plain text version to an unreadable or incomprehensible format, regardless of the technique utilised for such transformation or scrambling and irrespective of the medium in which such data occurs or can be found for the purposes of protecting the content of such data;
“plain text version” means the original data before it has been transformed or scrambled to an unreadable or incomprehensible format.