Letter: Secret messages on the Internet

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The Independent Online
Secret messages on the Internet

Sir: Regarding encryption technology (report, 2 October; letter, 7 October), could governments not pass a law similar to that which applies to search warrants? The authorities could apply to a judge for a warrant to enforce the disclosure of decryption keys in the case of a suspected crime. This would answer civil liberty or commercial worries by offering recourse to a legal defence and remove the need for a bureaucracy to administer all the private keys. Of course, the security services would not then be able to view encrypted files in secret.