Cryptography almost banned in the Czech Republic

By EDRi · December 5, 2005

The Czech Lower House recently approved of a law introducing a new Penal Code, including a ratification of the Cybercrime convention.

The original version, prepared by the Ministry of Justice, contained a provision that would criminalise hacking and cracking IT systems, but due to misguided and very unclear wording it also criminalised legitimate activities such a cryptography, IT security testing etcetera.

The vagueness of the new law would have posed a serious threat of arbitrary criminalisation of legitimate activities and legal uncertainty in general.

Together with a coalition of crypto-analysts, EDRI-observer IuRe was successful in suggesting amendments of the proposal, basing it more literally on the text of the Convention.

The Senate still has to approve of the law, but nobody expects any challenges to the revised and improved provision.

Text of the proposed law from the Minsitry of Justice (in Czech)

Amendments proposed by MP¥s in the second reading (in Czech)

(Contribution by Helena Svatoöov·, EDRI-member Iuridicum remedium, Czech Republic)