The UK government's proposed communications interception bill could be delayed following The Conservative Party's request for a key part of it to be changed.
Shadow Home Secretary, Anne Widdecombe, said during the second reading of The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill in the House of Commons today that the Tories would oppose a third reading of the bill if the 'burden of proof' element was not changed.
The section of the bill at the centre of the rift relates to encryption keys that are 'lost' during investigations. The Labour party proposes that the defendent should prove that they have lost the key, while the Tories say it should be left to the prosecution.
Police want easy access to encryption keys so they can unlock suspected illegal material.
The Tories have also proposed that past convictions should be admitted in court to determine if a defendant is wilfully witholding a key. Previous convictions are normally inadmissible.
Caspar Bowden, director of Internet policy think tank, the Foundation for Information Policy Research, said: "The Tories have set the cat amongst the pigeons."
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