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[FYI] UK: "Encryption debate hots up "
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- Subject: [FYI] UK: "Encryption debate hots up "
- From: Horns@t-online.de (Axel H. Horns)
- Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 22:21:26 +2000
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Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 01:22 GMT
Encryption debate hots up
Companies like the Royal Mail want to be TTPs without key
By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
The UK government has come under renewed fire over its
plans to provide a legislative framework for electronic
The minister responsible for the IT
industry, Michael Wills, was ambushed by a
show of hands supporting a one-month
extension to a consultation deadline, when
he spoke at a packed conference on
Mr Wills told a sceptical audience of academics, civil
liberties groups and industry experts that the 26-day
period allowed for comments on the Electronic Commerce
Bill proposals should help people to focus on the issues
with greater clarity.
Real solutions for real people
A joint task force of government officials and industry
figures were given the same April 1 deadline to come up
with an alternative to "key escrow" - a system which
would allow law enforcement agencies suspecting serious
crimes to unlock encoded data by gaining access to keys
lodged with bodies known as Trusted Third Parties (TTPs).
Key escrow has been condemned by civil liberties groups
as a threat to the privacy of Internet users. Business
leaders have described the proposal as expensive,
impractical and likely to drive abroad billions of pounds
worth of business in providing secure transactions.