Cybercops and industry join forces to fight crime

Is the UK finally getting its act together?
Written by Joey Gardiner, Contributor

Is the UK finally getting its act together?

Pressure is growing on the UK's IT industry to make the web a safer place for ecommerce as the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit moves closer to the private sector in the ongoing fight against cybercrime. The inaugural meeting of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) and the British Web Design and Marketing Association (BWDMA) took place yesterday, and was charged with finding new ways to tackle the growing threat of cybercrime. Patrick White, chairman of the BWDMA, led the call with a raft of new initiatives, but said industry had to do more off its own back. He said: "We have to crush the theory that crime on the web is inevitable. It's only inevitable to the degree that we allow it to be." White said most crime on the internet was performed by opportunists taking advantage of poor security and out-of-the-box functionality. He claimed a greater commitment to excellence would stop many of the problems firms are facing as they fight a rising tide of crime on the web. The BWDMA yesterday launched a "best practice" guide for businesses afflicted by copyright theft. The BWDMA is looking for industry co-operation to finish the document, which it hopes will give victims a way to fight abuses of copyright. Without industry action, White painted a grim picture of either an anarchic web that consumers would be frightened to use, or one straight-jacketed by onerous government legislation. At the meeting, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit admitted there was little it could do to stop much of the small-scale, petty crime on the web, and welcomed the initiative. Tony Neate, industry liaison officer for the NHTCU, said: "We put our full support behind industry in relation to any steps to tighten policies and procedures to deter criminal activity, and we're happy to work with industry, if needed, to help outline best practice."
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