The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act Part III gives law enforcement the power to serve notices requiring that encrypted material be "put into an intelligible form" (or as everyone else would say, decrypted). Under some circumstances the notices can require that encryption keys are handed over. At present Part III is not in force, but the Home Office are consulting on a Code of Practice for its operation and it must be expected to come into force in early 2007.
The eighth Scrambling for Safety meeting on the Home Office's access to keys and communications data code of practice consultations is being held from 2-5pm on Monday 14 August 2006, at the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, South Wing, UCL, Gower St, London WC1 [campus map].
Admission is free but space is limited, so if you wish to attend please subscribe to the meeting mailing list. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with requests for any other information.
The agenda as follows:
|1400||Welcome||Dr Ian Brown, UCL Computer Science|
|1405||The Home Office consultations||Simon Watkin, Home Office|
|1420||Government access to communications data||Dr Richard Clayton, Cambridge University Computer Laboratory|
|1435||Government access to decryption keys||Caspar Bowden, ex-director, FIPR|
|1505||Risks to safety and security||Dr Brian Gladman, MoD and NATO (retired)|
|1520||Errors of judgment and integrity in presenting computer-based evidence||Duncan Campbell, expert witness and investigative journalist|
|1545||Parliamentary scrutiny of RIPA and its Orders||The Earl of Erroll, House of Lords (crossbencher)|
|1615||Compatibility with human rights law||Prof. Douwe Korff, London Metropolitan University|
|1630||Do the police need longer detention periods to investigate encrypted evidence?||Prof. Ross Anderson, Cambridge University Computer Laboratory|
|1645||The changing public mood on privacy||Lord Phillips of Sudbury, House of Lords (Liberal Democrat)|
|1655||Questions and conclusions||Simon Davies, Privacy International and LSE|
Useful background information is at Privacy International's wiretap page and FIPR's "Surveillance and security" pages.