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UK.gov to spunk £2m a year policing global cyber-security

New centre to advise countries on beefing up defences

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BCC The UK will spend an extra £2m every year on improving international computer security defences, including a research centre for businesses and countries to tap into.

A senior Foreign Office official said last night Blighty was focussed on helping enterprises overseas and nations to sort out their cyber-security.

"This centre will try to answer questions about where countries should get help and where donors should give their money," the official said, speaking just ahead of the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace (BCC). The event follows London's inaugural confab last year.

The UK already gives money to the EU, the Commonwealth and other regions to help them shore up their computer security systems. However, the official said some of those schemes were one-off projects and didn't have long-term goals, hence the need for a new centre to oversee efforts.

Responding to a question about whether the new centre would be busily promoting British companies, he said that "market mechanisms have a part to play in [security defence] capacity building".

The new centre will get a home at one of the eight "academic centres of excellence" - universities given a special status for security research including Oxford, UCL, Southampton, Queen's Belfast, Lancaster, Bristol, Imperial College and Royal Holloway of London.

The official also said that since last year's conference in London, the government had put "a lot of energy" into building up confidence with countries that have different policies on the openness of the internet like China and Russia.

The conference in Budapest starts today and will feature speeches from government figures, such as the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban and the vice-minister of foreign affairs and trade in South Korea Kim Sung-Han, as well as speakers from bodies including the ITU and the OSCE. ®

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