Government 'must increase spending' on cybercrime fight

Security lobbyists are pushing the Government to provide the money they claim is needed to make the Internet a more lawful place
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

The Government should be providing more money to fund the skills and infrastructure needed to police the Internet effectively.

That's the view of Internet security lobbyist EURIM, which today released its recommendations for a long-term progress plan to improve Internet safety.

"We hold the view there is a desperate need for more skills and training," said Brian White MP, chairman of EURIM . "It's not something that can be left on the back shelf. Certainly, ministers are receptive to this and we're continuing to push this. We believe it's important to the economic success of the country."

The group is pushing for an international crime-fighting partnership to protect children, national infrastructures and companies on the Internet.

Last year EURIM said it wanted a one-stop computer crime centre that local police stations could forward reports of cybercrime to.

White added that he thought that the standard of cybercrime fighting will have risen by January 2006.

"If we come back in a year's time, the situation will be better," said White. "There'll be more money. There is the belief that if we don’t do this it won't get any better. There's no rocket science involved. It's basic."

But not everyone at the meeting was convinced that the government would inject more money into policing the Internet.

"There's no way you're going to get more money for law enforcement," said Chris Sundt, an independent security consultant who sits on the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit's strategy board. "[Cyberpolice] will not stop people burgling houses. A lot of these crimes only affect people in small ways, whereas having your car stolen or your house turned over is a big deal."

Late last year, in a report that took two years to complete, the Home Office warned that police and law makers needed to step up their efforts to fight crime on the Internet. It said that every police officer should receive a basic level of cyber-crime training.

Last summer Centrex, the organisation that provides anti-cybercrime training, saw its budget cut by 30 percent. It said that cuts were not just applicable to training in computer investigations.

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