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[FYI] (Fwd) Pornographers beware, here comes the NTAC

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From:           	"Yaman Akdeniz" <lawya@lucs-01.novell.leeds.ac.uk>
Organization:   	University of Leeds
To:             	cyber-rights-UK@mail.cyber-rights.org
Date sent:      	Tue, 3 Apr 2001 14:38:38 +0000
Subject:        	Pornographers beware, here comes the NTAC
Copies to:      	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk
Priority:       	normal
Send reply to:  	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk

Quote of the day
"The National Technical Assistance Centre will help the Government
respond to criminals, such as pornographers and paedophiles, who use
encryption to conceal the contents of their computer files. "

Home Office News Release, 30/03/2001

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Humphreys will be the new Head of the
National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC) Home Secretary Jack Straw
confirmed today.  

The National Technical Assistance Centre will help the Government
respond to criminals, such as pornographers and paedophiles, who use
encryption to conceal the contents of their computer files.  

NTAC will give law enforcement agencies the ability to fight crime in
the information age and provide a facility for the processing of
lawfully intercepted communications and lawfully seized protected
electronic data, which can then be used to bring serious criminals to

NTAC will remain under the day to day control of the Home Office, and
the new Head Ian Humphreys, who is on secondment to the Home Office
from Kent County Constabulary, will be accountable to the Home

Home Secretary Jack Straw said: "The Government is committed to 
action against hi-tech crime in line with our objective of making the
UK the best and safest place in the world to conduct and engage in e-

"The National Technical Assistance Centre will give law enforcement
the capability to derive intelligence and evidence from new
information and communication technologies.  

"It will provide techniques for lawful interception of modern 
multimedia communications and improve facilities for deriving 
evidence from lawfully seized computer data.  

"NTAC will make the difference between serious crimes such as 
paedophilia, extortion and fraud being prevented or punished and
criminals going unpunished and free to continue their activities."  

Head of the National Technical Assistance Centre Ian Humphreys 
said: "NTAC represents a major new initiative in the fight against
criminals engaged in serious and organised crime, such as paedophiles,
drug traffickers and fraudsters. We will provide specialist technical
support to the law enforcement effort to counter the evil intent of
those determined to exploit technology to the detriment of decent
members of society."  

NTAC will be a twenty-four hour centre operated on behalf of all the
law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, to provide a
central facility for the complex processing of encrypted material
derived from lawfully intercepted computer communications.  

It will make technically possible the provisions included in Part III
of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 requiring the
disclosure of keys to lawfully obtained protected electronic data.
These powers are expected to come in to force in late 2001.  

The Chancellor announced in the budget in April last year that 25
million of capital modernisation funding had been made available to
the Home Office over two years for the capital costs of developing a
National Technical Assistance Centre.  

This followed the Cabinet Office Performance Innovation Unit's 
report "Encryption and Law Enforcement", published in May 1999, 
which recommended the establishment of a Technical Assistance 
Centre to assist law enforcement agencies to gain access to 
communications protected by encryption.  


1. NTAC will be part of the Home Office and not a statutory body. The
Home Secretary will be accountable to Parliament for NTAC. The work of
NTAC will be subject to statutory oversight by the Interception of
Communications Commissioner, the Intelligence Services Commissioner
and the Surveillance Commissioners. It will also be subject to the
scrutiny of the courts in respect of its handling of lawfully seized
material and material lawfully acquired through the exercise of
statutory powers.  

2. Interception of communications is carefully regulated, by the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, and can only be conducted
under a warrant signed the Secretary of State.  

3. NTAC will undertake any processing necessary to make 
intercepted material intelligible. NTAC will not analyse the
intelligible content of any intercepted material. That will remain a
function for the agency which applied for the interception warrant.  

4. In November last year the Government announced 25 million to fund
the National Hi-Tech Crime Strategy and Unit (Home Office press
release 359/2000 refers).  

------- End of forwarded message -------