Sun Microsystems chief executive Scott McNealy met with UK government officials last night to discuss forthcoming legislation on electronic commerce.
McNealy met with Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to voice his concerns over potential plans to implement mandatory key escrow - where a third party holds the key to encryption - in the UK.
At Sun?s European press and analyst?s conference in Rome yesterday McNealy said it was not necessary for governments to take control over encryption.
?In regulated industries this is not necessary. I take flights and the airlines don?t tell my competitors where I?m going. If you didn?t trust your bank to look after your portfolio, you would find a new bank. We don?t need governments to run this,? he said.
A Sun white paper on electronic communications also states that any policy that requires the use of key recovery or trusted third parties will not solve the law enforcement and national security concerns that are the foundation of these policies.
The paper adds that in fact, these policies might exacerbate the problem by depriving companies and individuals in that country of their ability to act in their own self defence to protect against commercial espionage and invasions of privacy.
Sun?s views back those of ecommerce user group ecentre, which this week gave evidence to the Select Committee for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its enquiry into electronic commerce in the House of Commons (see 'Newswire' 2 February).
In its evidence, the group also maintained that key escrow is not a workable solution. It warned that any such legislation would have a detrimental effect on the UK economy.
The UK is currently the only country to be considering mandatory key escrow. Both the US and France have backed away from using the system.
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