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Former FBI chief takes on encryption
According to a law called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, U.K. government agencies can demand encryption keys relating to intercepted data communications that are scrambled. Anyone not complying with the request faces a prison sentence of up to two years.
Freeh acknowledged last week that he has been campaigning "about this problem for many years" and said that the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the 50 state attorneys general, and the National Association of District Attorneys have pointed to the proliferation of encryption as the most critical technology issue facing law enforcement. Encrypted computer files found in Manila belonging to Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, proved that terrorists are using this technology, Freeh said.