I am not sure exactly what you are talking about when you speak about trade secret keys, but do understand numbers.
Our numbering system is known as Base 10, meaning only the digits 0-9 can be used to make every number. Binary is Base 2, consisting of 0 and 1. Computers utilize this system since any number is represented only by those 2 digits...which in computer language is 'on' and 'off'. The bigger the number, the longer the binary string will be.
Of course, there are other bases besides our base 10 and binary (base 2). As for it being illegal to have a trade secret key number digitized in binary code...I really don't know. No number, in any base can be really owned, but like I said, I am not exactly what a trade secret key is.
Hope I didn't confuse this issue more! LOL