ISPs want more e-crime protection

More police, not laws, are the key to fighting electronic crime and cyberterrorism, according to the London Internet Exchange

The London Internet Exchange (LINX), which represents over 140 UK Internet service providers, has demanded that more resources are devoted to combating e-crime and cyberterrorism.

According to Malcolm Hutty, LINX regulation officer, the government should avoid introducing any more legislation in order to combat the growing threat of electronic crime.

Instead, the UK needs more police officers who are trained to deal with high-tech criminals, said Hutty in an article circulated around the Home Office this week.

"It is surprising, to the uninitiated, just how few reports of online criminal activity actually result in a police investigation. It is surprising that so few police officers are trained and available to investigate the entire range of online fraud and attempted fraud. It is surprising that the few trained officers we do have do not have more support from, for example, computer forensics specialists," wrote Hutty.

"It is perhaps less surprising that detailed statistics on how many e-crime reports result in a police investigation are not readily and widely available - this is likely to be connected with a lack of political enthusiasm for significantly increasing resources," he added.

The British government will soon unveil details of a new strategy for e-crime, which could include the introduction of legislation to try and combat the rise of scams such as phishing.

Currently, the National Hi-Tech Crime Squad (NHTCU) takes the lead in fighting electronic crime in Britain. The NHTCU is set to be merged with other police units to form the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which will tackle crimes such as people-smuggling and drug-trafficking. Part of its remit will be to crack down on the increasingly high-tech methods gangs use to carry out these crimes and launder the proceeds.