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Cumbria massacre top cop also patrols cyberspace

Favours internet self-policing, 'sexy technical stuff'

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Hyde has said he feels everyone has a responsibility to protect themselves and their children, first and foremost, when it comes the their computers and internet connections. “You don’t have to search very far to find information that will help you to make yourself safe - there's a little bit of self protection that has to take place here. Just the same as we want people in the non-digital world to protect themselves. You don’t leave your house unless you’ve locked it, you generally put your car alarm on. The e-world is exactly the same. Clearly you wouldn’t let your kids just roam off and do what the hell they like, equally you wouldn't want them to do what the hell they like on-line.”

In 2008 Hyde received an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from the University of Wolverhampton in recognition of his achievements in tackling online crime.

He has said he sees a good part of the future of cyber enforcement following the route of organisations like the UK ISP-created Internet Watch Foundation, with connected industries leading the way.

“Traditionally we expect UK PLC to protect us from everything – but it can’t. The internet is a self generated organisation and nobody owns it and therefore it should be self policed – that’s the best policing that can take place.”

The aim of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace is to forge international cooperation among public and private bodies to prevent and combat crimes in cyberspace, and learning from each other's models. Hyde says a number of countries now have organisations like the IWF, which takes reports of illegal online content and gets them taken down, and CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), a UK police agency. Hyde, as one of its architects, modelled elements of CEOP on the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The education sector also has its role. “Most schools have got e-crime strategies but most won’t call it that. And ICT [information and communication technologies] teachers deliver more e-crime prevention guidance than the police do. They don’t want the school to be downloading images, viruses, sending emails that are illegal, and don’t want kids to be bullied. Schools themselves are pretty good at protecting each other,” Hyde says. ®

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