Digital Privacy

Public meeting on RIPA consultations

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 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
1450 Questions
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)
1600 Questions
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
1700 Close

Useful background information is at Privacy International’s wiretap page and FIPR’s “Surveillance and security” pages.