Key escrow in the UK

Alex Hudson home at
Tue Aug 2 18:24:28 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2005-08-02 at 13:47 +0200, Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> Encryption as part of the circle of trust is a necessary ingredient in 
> protecting every citizen's personal information. Key escrow will fail 
> to deter criminals and greatly degrade personal privacy.
> What can we do to inform people of the dangers of key escrow?

I'm not sure people necessarily need to be aware of the dangers; if you
know about encryption, you probably know the dangers of giving people
your private keys (incidentally, the UK proposal - made by the
Association of Chief Police officers - wasn't about escrow, but complete
surrender of keys on presentation of a legal warrant).

I guess that keys are - in a way - special, insofar as when you take
someone's keys you're potentially able to impersonate them. But, I'm not
sure that I'd go as far as to say that everyone requires the right to
certain information completely secret from the legal system in order to
have privacy. And I think it's the ability for the legal system to seize
information they need that is the proposal, not that all keys be
escrowed (as that is a far more dangerous idea).



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