Blunkett: Digital Britain will increase security risks

Speaking to ZDNet UK at the Infosecurity 2009 conference, David Blunkett says the provision of universal broadband for all will bring more cybercrime activity
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Former home secretary David Blunkett has warned of increased security risks around universal UK broadband access.

Speaking to ZDNet UK at the Infosecurity 2009 conference on Tuesday, Blunkett claimed the extension of broadband availability to every home by 2012, as the government has proposed, will by its nature aggravate computer security issues.

"The greater the activity and speed of action, the greater the danger," said Blunkett. "Not because of the broadband extension itself, but because of the exponential rise in activity that facilitates."

The Digital Britain report, currently being prepared by communications minister Lord Carter, proposes that every home in Britain have broadband access by 2012. While Blunkett said that an increase in broadband activity will lead to an increase in hacking and cybercrime, the former home secretary added that this could be mitigated by co-ordinated action.

"We need to put together those dealing with counter-terrorism, those dealing with fraud, those interested in developing infrastructure, and those dealing with inclusiveness and championing awareness," said Blunkett. "If we can get together we've got government, business and individuals all working in the right direction."

However, cross-bench peer Lord Erroll told ZDNet UK on Tuesday that, if the internet were to become too controlled, then part of what makes the network "attractive" could be destroyed.

"The real trouble is, if you control everything too much you curtail internet freedom," said Erroll. "It's early days for the internet. The world hasn't come to an end yet due to cyberattack, and we need to be careful that the internet and everything dependent on it doesn't stop working because it's all locked down too much."

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