Key escrow in the UK

Jeremiah Foster jeremiah.foster at
Fri Jul 29 12:01:08 UTC 2005

On Jul 29, 2005, at 1:43 PM, Gareth Bowker wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 29, 2005 at 12:11:53PM +0200, Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> [...]
>> Not true. If you had a key recovery mechanism, you could quickly
>> recovery the key and encrypted information, thus potentially saving
>> lives. Look at the situation today, the police suspect another attack
>> with innocent people killed is imminent, oughtn't there be a mechanism
>> to prevent this needless death?
> You're making the assumption that the criminals will stop using the
> current encryption technologies and switch to one which allows key 
> escrow.
> You're also assuming that the criminals will continue to use this
> "watered-down" encryption to discuss their criminal activities, hoping
> that no-one will snoop on their communications.
> Why would they do that, if they knew their communications could now be
> intercepted?

True, those using private key encryption may move to another form of 
encryption, but is there another form of encryption as powerful and 
easily available?

It is not so much the interception of communications that the police 
are interested in, it is the decrypting of data on hard drives captured 
in raids of suspected bomber's homes. In other words, should the police 
have an escrowed key available for use only in situations where they 
have already convinced the court that a search warrant is necessary?


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