Escrow time line draws fire from think-tank

The government's decision last week to drop key escrow -- which would give law enforcement agencies access to data sent over the Internet -- leaves the e-commerce bill as a "dead limb of an old policy which should be chopped off," according to Caspar Bowden, director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research.

The government's decision last week to drop key escrow -- which would give law enforcement agencies access to data sent over the Internet -- leaves the e-commerce bill as a "dead limb of an old policy which should be chopped off," according to Caspar Bowden, director of the Foundation for Information Policy Research.

Bowden believes the government is "in a terrible tangle" over the bill and has lodged a formal complaint with Secretary of Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers, over the time given for the IT industry to respond to the consultation document -- Building Confidence in Electronic Commerce.

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