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26 November 2005

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Watching Them, Watching Us

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, PART III.INVESTIGATION OF ELECTRONIC DATA PROTECTED BY ENCRYPTION ETC.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/20000023.htm#aofs

has still not yet been brought in to force, after 5 years on the Statute Book. However the Government is seeking to increase the penalty for ill-defined "national security" investigations, from 2 years to 5 years in prison.

This was confirmed by the Home Office Minister Paul Goggins in answer to the Liberal Democrat David Heath and Conservative Dominic Grieve on 3rd November 2005:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2005-11-03a.1040.0#g1040.2

Two of the Commissioners set up under RIPA, in their annual reports, i.e. Sir Swinton Thomas the Interception Commissioner and Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, the Intelligence Services Commissioner, both used identical language regarding RIPA part 3:

"However, the use of information security and encryption products by terrorist and criminal suspects is not. as I understand, as widespread as had been expected when RIPA was approved by Parliament in the year 2000. Equally the Governmet's investment in the National Technical Assistance Centre - a Home Office managed facility to undertake complex data processing - is enabling law enforcement agencies to understand, as far as necessary, protected electronic data."

http://www.spy.org.uk/spyblog/2005/11/report_of_the_intelligence_ser_1.html

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