UCL News


Public given opportunity to challenge government proposals on internet surveillance

8 August 2006

The ramification of legislation that would place the onus on individuals to divulge encrypted information even if they claim to have forgotten the password or that would force individuals to hand over their internet security passwords will be discussed at the only public consultation on the Home Office's access to keys and communications code of practice.

Hosted by UCL on Monday 14 August, 'Scrambling for Safety 8' will bring together representatives from government, industry and human rights organisations.

EVENT: An open meeting on the Home Office 'access to keys and communications code of practice'

WHEN: Monday 14 August 2006, 2-5pm

The Home Office's draft code of practice on government access to 'communications data' - phone numbers and email addresses contacted, websites visited and the location of mobile phones - will also be discussed.

Speakers include: Dr Brian Gladman of the Ministry of Defence and NATO (retired): 'Risks to safety and security'

Dr Richard Clayton of the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory: 'Government access to communication data'

Duncan Campbell, expert witness and investigative journalist: 'Errors of judgement and integrity in presenting computer-based evidence'

Professor Ross Anderson, Cambridge University Computer Lab: 'Do the police need longer detention periods to investigate encrypted evidence?'

Dr Ian Brown, of the UCL Department of Computer Science, who organised the conference, says: "How surveillance legislation is enforced could have significant implications for privacy and security in the UK. The public must engage with the legislator to establish who in the 500 agencies with access to communications data should be allowed to review an individual's internet and phone usage, or whether someone should be sent to jail for forgetting a password. Questions that must be addressed include how could authorities establish whether someone had forgotten their password or was withholding it."


For further information or to reserve place, please contact:

Judith H Moore, UCL Media Relations Manager, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 7678 (int: 07678), Mobile: +44 (0)77333 075 96, Out-of-hours: +44 (0)7917 271 364, Email: judith.moore@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Ian Brown, UCL Department of Computer Science, Email: i.brown@cs.ucl.ac.uk.