Electronic Communications Act 2000

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The Electronic Communications Act 2000
Long title An Act to make provision to facilitate the use of electronic communications and electronic data storage; to make provision about the modification of licences granted under section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1984; and for connected purposes.
Citation 2000 c.7
Royal assent 25 May 2000
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk

The Electronic Communications Act 2000 (c.7) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that:

The United Kingdom government had come to the conclusion that encryption, encryption services and electronic signatures would be important to e-commerce in the UK.[1]

By 1999, however, only the security services still hankered after key escrow. So a "sunset clause" was put in the bill. The May 2000 Electronic Communications Act gave the Home Office the power to create a registration regime for encryption services. This was given a five-year period before it would automatically lapse.

The five years expired in May 2006 and the legislation granting such a power disappeared from the statute book.


  1. ^ Ward, Mark (2 August 2000). "Net leaves the law behind". BBC News Online. 

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