On 27 May  at 10.00 at the Aula Magna of Politecnico of Milan, Tech and Law Center is pleased to host Stephen Mason with a talk on

“Dealing with Encrypted Data in Criminal Proceedings”

Criminals and terrorists have begun to realise of the importance of encrypting their data. They want to prevent the legitimate authorities from viewing the plain text, and to keep their secrets secret. This problem has already occurred and been reported in a number of cases in three jurisdictions: Canada, England & Wales and the United States of America. This problem will affect every jurisdiction in the world, including the proposed office of the Public Prosecutor in the European Union.

The purpose of this lecture is to consider how the judges have responded when the prosecution has discovered encrypted data, and the prosecution want to examine the plaint text to establish whether the accused has committed an offence. Giuseppe Vaciago will be joined by Stephen Mason in this lecture. Giuseppe Vaciago will introduce the problem, and set out some of the legal issues that arise; Stephen Mason will provide an overview of the case law in Canada, England & Wales and the United States of America, in which he will set out the judicial response and the law in each of these jurisdictions. Professor Stefano Zanero will also provide a short discussion of the technology and the current technical issues before the audience is invited to take part in a general discussion of the issues that arise.


Stephen Mason is a barrister, an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, and a member of the IT Panel of the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales. He is the author of Electronic Signatures in Law (3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Electronic Banking: Protecting Your Rights (PP Publishing, 2012); and the general editor of Electronic Evidence (3rd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2012) and International Electronic Evidence (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2008). He founded the international journal Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review, which has become an international focal point for researchers in the area. Stephen has acted as the external marker in postgraduate degrees dealing with electronic evidence: LLM at the University of Oslo (2006), PhD at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.