Feeds

Tories call for big changes to cybercrime offences

G-men for the internet, new offence for civil servants

The essential guide to IT transformation

Civil servants who lose public data could be prosecuted under proposals announced by the Conservative Party. It's one of a number of measures touted, as the Tories call for major changes in how the UK deals with cybercrime and data protection.

The Tories' report - Tackling Cybercrime - calls for new offences for civil servants or government contractors who lose confidential data, a new police squad to go after cybercrims and a minister for cybercrime.

More radically, the Tories are also calling for a "breach law" - forcing financial services companies to inform the Financial Services Authority if their systems are hacked or compromised in some way and confidential data is at risk.

The Information Commissioner's Office has been pushing for such a change in the law. Many of the Tories' recommendations on cybercrime closely parallel those made by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology last August, proposals the government rejected to the consternation of security experts.

A Tory government would also bring forward legislation to "create an offence of reckless handing of personal data by government, making it an offence for a Crown Servant or government contractor to lose personal data from their control".

The Tories also want to establish a cybercrime team within the Crown Prosecution Service, which would work with the proposed Police National Cybercrime Unit, and a central website for reporting internet crimes. A single "Fraud and Cybercrime Complaint Centre" - similar to the US Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) - would be set up to provide central reporting of online crime.

Policies introduced in April 2006 mean the public is advised to report incidents of credit card fraud to the banks instead of to the police. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), created by the merger of the National High Tech Crime Unit and other specialist agencies in April 2006, only takes reports of cybercrime indirectly and tackles only the largest cases.

Her Majesty's Opposition is also calling for the British Standards Institute to back a kitemark so we could recognise emails from large organisations in order to reduce phishing. Given phishers' skills in copying existing email formats, this sounds like it could backfire.

The report is available to download as a pdf from here.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.