Key escrow in the UK

Jeremiah Foster jeremiah.foster at
Thu Jul 28 17:49:42 UTC 2005

After the terrible, cowardly acts by terrorists in the UK, something 
that we all deplore, there has come the request from the Police to 
escrow the private keys used in dual key encryption. Apparently, much 
of the information held on the computers that the Police seized were 
encrypted, frustrating Police efforts to easily read that information. 
Now there are public calls by the Police to allow them to engage in key 
escrow so that when they have to break into a computer they have the 
private key and do not have to use brute force or whatever method they 
currently use, (is there any other method?)

I would like to discuss this with the membership of this list and 
fellows at the FSFE. Is it permissible to allow key escrow by the 
authorities? Is this type of encryption too powerful to be in the hands 
of enemies of the state who take innocent lives? What are the limits on 
privacy? On public authorities invasion of privacy? How can we address 
the public need for information with the private need for privacy?

Jeremiah Foster
jeremiah.foster at
Tel/Mobil: +46 (0)730 930 506

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