People in the UK who encrypt their data are now obliged by law to give up the encryption keys to law enforcement officials who request it, under part of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

Section 49 of Part III of RIPA compels a person, when served with a notice, to either hand over an encryption key or render the requested material intelligible by authorities.

This section of RIPA was included in the original draft of the Act but was not activated, as encryption was considered not widely used enough at the time to be of sufficient concern.

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