UK police want withholding encryption keys to be a criminal offence

By Derek Sooman on August 3, 2005, 11:38 AM
Police in the UK are calling for new powers that would help tackle rogue websites, and are pressing for laws to make withholding encryption keys a criminal offence. The UK Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) believes that in the light of the special demands posed by terrorist investigations, a new and controversial list of powers is called for. For the first time in this way, encryption keys have been singled out by Police, although the problems associated with their use by criminals to secure documents has long been an issue.

"Recent investigations have been made more complex by difficulties for investigating officers in ascertaining whereabouts of encryption keys to access computers," the release states, an admission that this has become a pressing issue for the authorities.

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