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UK Labour Party policy on encryption


[see http://www.poptel.org.uk/labour-party/policy/info-highway/content.html
for full text]

> It is important that privacy is rigorously protected over the
> new networks, for both personal and commercial reasons. We do
> not accept the "clipper chip" argument developed in the United
> States for the authorities to be able to swoop down on any
> encrypted message at will and unscramble it.
> The only power we would wish to give to the authorities, in
> order to pursue a defined legitimate anti-criminal purpose,
> would be to enable decryption to be demanded under judicial
> warrant (in the same way that a warrant is required in order
> to search someone's home).
> Attempts to control the use of encryption technology are wrong
> in principle, unworkable in practice, and damaging to the
> long-term economic value of the information networks. There is
> no fundamental difference between an encrypted file and a
> locked safe. A safe may be effectively impregnable in that the
> effort taken to open it would destroy the contents. An
> encryption algorithm, similarly, may be effectively
> unbreakable.


I've taken this entirely out of context*; cpunks will be glad to
find that the same document manages to hit at least two of the
horsemen of the infocalypse. A few paragraphs earlier is the
standard "must protect women, children, and ethnic minorities"
(paraphrased) argument.

Labour seems likely to form the next government. And even if they
don't, their stated policy might be a good thing to take to the
Tories, saying something along the lines of, "Labour has a clue,
where's yours?" [Note that I was unable to find the Tory point
of view.]

I found this stuff from Anne Campbell MP's home page.


* for brevity's sake.


Richard Martin                           I DON'T SPEAK FOR ALIAS|WAVEFRONT
Alias|Wavefront - Toronto Office [Co-op Software Developer, Games Team]
[email protected]/[email protected]      http://www.io.org/~samwise
Trinity College UofT ChemPhysCompSci 9T7+PEY=9T8 Shad Valley Waterloo 1992

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