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[FYI] (UK) Brian Gladman: Crypto could force government hacking


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Crypto could force government hacking

Tue, 23 Nov 1999 14:25:41 GMT

Will Knight

To get access to encrypted messages, GCHQ may have to
resort to illegal hack tactics, says an expert 

The increased use of cryptography could be leading the
government into a legal trap where it comes to electronic
surveillance, according to a British cryptography expert. 

Brian Gladman, an independent cryptography researcher, suggests
that the increased use of secure encryption for email
communication will mean that the only way for GCHQ, the
government's information-gathering headquarters, to intercept
communications may be to covertly infiltrate an individual's
computer using a Trojan program. That may contravene the 1990
Computer Misuse Act, Gladman argues. 

Although the 1994 Intelligence Services Act gives GCHQ certain
privileges to intercept communications without a warrant, Gladman
says it is unclear whether this relates to the Computer Misuse Act. 

"The issue is whether the Intelligence Services Act overrules the
Computer Misuse Act. The Intelligence Services Act says that
GCHQ is allowed to infiltrate 'things', it doesn't say exactly what.
[The] context is also interesting because encryption is going to
become much more widely deployed." 

Gladman says that after posting a message to the highly respected
cryptography mailing list "ukcrypto" speculating on this issue,
GCHQ took down references to its statutory powers to intercept
communications from its Web site . 


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