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The UK government has been urged to take the lead in fighting cybercrime. Parliamentary lobby group EURIM and think tank The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said yesterday that the UK has an historic opportunity to spearhead the international fight against cybercrime whose economic effects "already far outstripped that of physical crime".

“The British tradition of democratically accountable policing, the position of London as a trusted location for resolving international disputes, and the Presidency of the EU and G8 in 2005, give the UK the opportunity to bid for global leadership as the safest place to do e-business, provided we also make it the most efficient hub for enforcement and redress,” the two organisations say in a report.

Ideas from the recent UK government White Paper, Building Communities, Beating Crime, need to be extended to the net. Eurim/IPPR's report, Building Cybercommunities: Beating Cybercrime, maps out a "step by step" programme to build on existing structures in the fight against online crime. Key recommendations include:

  • Non-geographic internet crime and disorder partnerships (soc-called “cyber caddies”) supported by a shared secretariat. These would cover specific areas of cybercrime such as child protection and infrastructure protection (allied to the National Information Security Co-ordination Centre) linked to joint (law enforcement and industry) investigatory teams with international, as well as national, resources.
  • A central reporting and information clearing service (with clear reporting and investigatory guidelines) to field internet security incidents.
  • Procedures to accredit IT experts and civilian volunteers to work alongside law enforcement in joint investigatory and prevention teams (both local, national and international).
  • Practical support for London as an international centre for internet policing and disputes resolution.
  • Democratically accountable third party governance routines for non-geographic policing.

Eurim/IPPR's report is the sixth in a series of discussion papers that aim to set the agenda for debate on e-crime. The full text of Building Cybercommunities: Beating Cybercrime is here (Word document). ®

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Small.biz told to swot up on Net security
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E-crime costs UK business billions
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