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Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make it his policy to resist changes to Government policy on encryption following consideration of encryption issues by the Council of Europe and the European Union. [38164]

Officials from various Government Departments have been giving consideration to Government policy on the provision of encrypted services on public networks. Such a policy needs to take into account the legitimate requirement of industry, commerce and individuals for a range of cryptographic services and national security needs, including fighting terrorism and serious crime. In addition, the European Union has put forward draft proposals on the provision of European-wide trust services, which the Government, with other member states, are considering. But no decisions have yet been taken.