Look out! Here come the cybercops

Jack Straw stumps up £25 million for Net crime detectives

A new team of 80 full-time cybercops are to be recruited and let loose on the UK's Net structure as part of a £25 million plan to stamp on Internet crime, the Home Secretary announced this morning.

According to Jack Straw, this move is "in line with our objective of making the UK the best and safest place in the world to conduct and engage in e-commerce". Forty investigators will be pulled in from the police, customs, the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service and put into a new National Hi-Tech Crime Unit based in the criminal intelligence HQ in London. Another 46 will be placed in local forces around the country.

John Abbott, Director General of the National Criminal and Intelligence Service said: "Cybercrime ignores borders - be they regional, national or international. Our approach therefore has to be holistic. A national unit must co-exist with comprehensive local strategies and abilities." For this reason, the new force will also have a 24-hour hotline to foreign intelligence agencies. Obvious targets for the new squad will be paedophiles, nazi-type organisations, financial fraudsters and the like.

On top of this, £37 million is to be spent linking the IT systems of police forces in England and Wales together.

It seems Mr Straw is quite serious about tackling Internet crime in the UK and of course with the catch-all RIP legislation, he has the power to do a very good job on it. Just a shame that in his rush to make the Net safer he has trampled all over the rights of your average law-abiding citizen.

A very good description of Jack Straw was given in a national newspaper last week: he's an enforcer, not a reformer. That, sadly, is spot on. Of course, if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about, have you?* ®

*NB. This, to us at least, is one of the most terrifying uses of "fake logic". Please note those people that use it. And warn your friends about them.

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