Feeds

UK.gov wants to ramp up, co-ordinate anti-terror investment

Fragmentation is just one of our enemies

Reducing security risks from open source software

The UK government's chief scientific advisor painted a depressing picture of an ever-evolving terror threat that had to be be met with an ever agile investment in science and technology for security.

Launching the Home Office's Security and Counter-Terrorism Science and Innovation strategy, Professor Paul Wiles echoed its contents in calling for a more concerted and urgent investment in security technology to protect the UK against terrorists.

"The strategy is not built on the assumption that the threat is static, but that it will continue to change. That's the reality of the threat so we have to have a strategy that is responsive enough," he told a spook industry audience at the Royal United Services Institute in London today.

He said the three years of research the government had already done into security technology could have been done better if it had worked more closely with business and academia: "The government will fail unless you help. Innovation is hardly something for which the civil service is known."

This was part of a four-pronged strategy that would also involve more co-ordination between government departments, doing more to spot new threats and technologies to counter them, and collaborating with allies such as the US and EU.

He could not say how much would be invested, however, until the government had completed its Comprehensive Spending Review.

The UK's security research budget has been £14m a year for the last three years, a sum that funds both academic research as well as product development. Wiles refused to say how much he thought the UK needed, or how much he would like to get the job done.

The US Department of Homeland Security's research budget is around $800m. The security tranche of the European Commission's science funding, in Framework Programme 7, amounts to €1.4bn, and that excludes the security elements that are also being awarded in all other areas of FP7, which has a total budget of €32bn to 2013.

Wiles and representatives of the US and EU research efforts all agreed they should divvy up the anti-terror research burden.

EU principle scientific advisor Khoen Liem said the EU had launched an initiative to co-ordinate research activities between the commission and EU countries such as the UK, Germany, and Sweden, which have significant security programmes of their own.

There was a "fragmentation" that was resulting in incompatible equipment, he said, and a fractured market. Allied countries had to find their specialisms, he said, but added: "Structuring the demand side is the Olympic challenge."

Wiles agreed the possibility of wasteful overlaps in allied research was real. He had been talking with the Department of Homeland Security and EC about how they "share the risk, share the responsibility". But he refused to say what the UK's specialism was.

He did say that the most shining example to come out of the last three years of research was in the realm of chemical detection, but would not elaborate.

Dr Jim DeCorpo, director of the US Department of Homeland Security's Eurasia office, said he had opened a dialogue to co-ordinate efforts with the EU, but said the department already had bilateral agreements with countries including the UK and Sweden. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.