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Campaigners hit by decryption law

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LiquidWorm

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Campaigners hit by decryption law

Animal rights activists are thought to be the first Britons to be asked to hand over to the police keys to data encrypted on their computers.

The request for the keys is being made under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

Police analysing machines seized during raids on activists' homes carried out in May have asked for the keys.

The activists could face jail if they do not comply and snub a further formal request to hand over the keys.

Case law

In early November about 30 animal rights activists are understood to have received letters from the Crown Prosecution Service in Hampshire inviting them to provide passwords that will decrypt material held on seized computers.

The letter is the first stage of a process set out under RIPA which governs how the authorities handle requests to examine encrypted material.

Once a request has been issued the authorities can then issue what is known as a Section 49 notice demanding that a person turn the data into an "intelligible" form or, under Section 51 hand over keys.

Although much of RIPA came into force many years ago, the part governing the handing over of keys only passed in to law on 1 October 2007. This is why the CPS is only now asking for access to files on the seized machines.
Повеќе: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7102180.stm

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