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European politicians are to get tough on cyber villains by introducing new laws to combat kiddie porn, fraud, drug dealing and online terrorism.

The new laws are set to be introduced later this year, according to a meeting of Euro ministers in Marseilles at the weekend.

Despite the rhetoric, Euro politicians admitted that they had failed to get to grips with the problem of crime on the Net.

French Justice Minister, Elisabeth Guigou, conceded that legislators had been slow in responding to the threat of Net-related crime.

But she was adamant that the Net should not become a "lawless zone".

According to Reuters a whole raft of new rules could be introduced later this year to help authorities in the fight against cybercrime. Among them, ISPs could be forced to hang on to data and hand it over to police as part of their online investigations.

If such legislation were to be introduced, it could add significantly to the costs borne by ISPs.

With Europe now on the case, it could make the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) bill look like a walk in the park. ®

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