The UK Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA) joined the fight against mandatory key escrow last week as it took its turn giving evidence to the Trade and Industry Select Committee Enquiry into electronic commerce.
ISPA is one of several organisations presenting evidence which will later be drawn together into a report.
The group called for clearer protection for the privacy of emails and expressed concern about key recovery and key escrow systems currently being considered by the UK government.
Its evidence stated: ?We are not persuaded that a Key Escrow regime is currently sensible. We think that the licensing of Certification Authorities for digital certificates and the archiving of encryption keys used for simple confidentiality are wholly separate issues and should not be confused. We think that there are many pitfalls with Key Escrow and it should be avoided. It will impose a large cost on industry, that seems undisputed and we believe the claimed advantages it brings to national security are illusory.?
Other companies and organisations such as Sun Microsystems, BT and user group Ecentre expressed similar concerns.
An electronic commerce bill, announced in the Queen?s speech last November was originally scheduled to be published in April, but draft legislation is yet to appear.
It is widely believed that industry opposition to a mandatory key escrow system is one of the reasons for the delay in legislation.
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