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Date: 2000-03-07

PC Cybercrime: Der lange Arm der USA

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Das ENFOPOL Derivat Computer-Cybercrime ist auch auf Ebene des
Europarats in Vorberietung. Dass die Briten wieder einmal die Ersten
sind, verwundert nicht. Dahinter reckt sich mächtig der lange Arm der

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Computer crime plans attacked

The Bill will help fight crime say the government

Laws proposed by the UK Government to enable the interception of
electronic communications in the battle against organised crime have
been criticised as appalling and objectionable.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill debate was opened by
the Home Secretary Jack Straw who said law enforcement agencies
worldwide were worried about the criminal use of encryption to send
coded electronic messages.

["It is the most appalling legislation that I have ever seen" Ian Bruce
MP ]

He said UK and the US was putting in place a package of measures
to tackle the problem.

"In European terms, we are ahead of the game. Our goal is to make
the UK the best and safest place in the world to do e-commerce.

"The gloomy prognosis though is that whatever is done, law
enforcement will take a hit over encryption."

"Presumed guilty"

However, opposition politicians expressed concern over the proposed
data-gathering powers and a part of the bill which requires people in
possession of encrypted data to provide the encryption key or face

The Shadow Home Secretary Anne Widdecombe said: "The crucial
point is that people will be presumed guilty until they can prove
themselves innocent. That is questionable justice."

Liberal democrat Simon Hughes added that the bill "offers a relatively
light penalty for people who intentionally claim that they cannot find
their method of decryption. Clearly, major criminals would rather
accept a six-month punishment than a much more severe penalty."

And Conservative MP Ian Bruce said: "It is the most appalling
legislation that I have ever seen. It needs an enormous amount of

'Straw must think again'

Caspar Bowden, director of the Foundation for Information Policy
Research and cited as an authority during the debate said: "On the
crucial issue of the burden-of-proof, Jack Straw blew it. The issue
was only clarified at the end of the debate after repeated challenges
and evasions and FIPR's analysis was entirely confirmed."

British newspapers also reacted angrily. A leader article in the
Financial Times said: "As now drafted the legislation would enable
the authorities to collect huge amounts of data on ordinary citizens.

"Among the most objectionable parts of this bill are those which
require internet service providers to become party to secret
surveillance of their customers.

"Internet commerce will only flourish if all parties are confident of
security. The idea that internet providers should fill police computers
with credit card details, bank statements and commercial contracts
may be far from Mr Straw's intention. But this bill makes it possible.
He must think again."


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-03-07
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