4. Cryptography

Cryptography is the process used to scramble ordinary text that is readable into cipher text which is unreadable by anyone other than the person holding the key to decrypt or unscramble the message.  Cryptography can be used to ensure that documents or messages remain confidential to all except the person with the key.


Cryptography has been used by banks and government for many years.  It is also an essential tool for any organisation wishing to trade electronically.

We said on the previous page that the first part of the Act regulates the provision of cryptographic services in the UK.

The Government has established a list of approved providers of cryptography services.  The register is voluntary and so there is no legal requirement for anyone offering cryptography services to be on the register.  However in practice, because it is so essential that businesses can trust those providing a cryptography service, it is more likely that they will use one who is on the approved register.


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Cryptography