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[FYI] UK: "Police want keys to decode private e-mail"


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            ISSUE 1380

            Police want keys to decode private
            By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent 

                           THE Government was accused yesterday of
                           rushing through legislation that could
                           allow it unprecedented powers to access and
                           decrypt any person's private e-mail,
                           inspect digital communications, and
                           investigate data stored on their computers.

                           Stephen Byers, the Trade Secretary, and
                           Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, proposed
                           legislation that will make it an offence
                           not to decipher confidential material on
                           demand during a police inquiry.

                           Industry has three weeks to respond to
                           their proposals, published as part of a
                           consultation document on electronic
                           commerce, which asks for help from industry
                           in setting up a secure legal framework for
                           trading on the Internet and via electronic
                           links. Mr Byers said a Bill on electronic
                           commerce, encompassing new encryption and
                           data-policing proposals, will be published
                           after Easter.


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