News Burst: British law's encryption quagmire

It might seem obscure, but a legal loophole could be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to stopping cyber-crime

Fighting computer crime is becoming increasingly difficult because British law doesn't even recognise that encryption exists, says one computer security consultant.

Neil Barrett of security firm Information Risk Management says that when appearing as an expert witness in a recent case concerning the manufacture of illegal cable TV equipment accessing encrypted transmissions, the defence brought into question what encryption actually is.

"We went to look it up and found that there isn't even a definition of encryption under British law," says Barrett who is a regular witness in computer crime cases. "We had to come up with a fairly simple workable definition that the jury could agree on. This is a big issue and it is making it difficult to prove something in court."

Full story to follow.

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