By Chris Williams
3rd December 2009
The widespread use of encryption by criminals - long feared by
intelligence and law enforcement agencies - has yet to materialise,
according to the man in charge of the country's largest digital
Mark Stokes, head of the Metropolitan Police's Digital and Electronic
Forensic Services (DEFS), told The Register that "literally a handful"
of the tens of thousands of devices it handles each year from across the
whole of London involve encrypted data.
"We're still to this day not seeing widespread use of encryption," he
Despite the availability of scrambling products such as PGP, TrueCrypt
and Microsoft's BitLocker, criminals are not making life difficult for
forensic investigators to access their files.
"You'd think paedophiles would use it, but they don't. It's just human
nature to think they'll never get caught," said Stokes, an electronics
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