Conservatives unwrap plans to battle online threats
The Conservatives have revealed plans to establish a centre to counter online attacks against the UK.
According to a Conservative policy paper on national security published on Friday, the party plans to create a Cyber Threat and Assessment Centre (CTAC) if elected.
The centre would act as a central reporting point for all cyber attacks that threaten national infrastructure, and would also provide intelligence on the online threats facing the UK.
Intelligence from the CTAC would be fed into a National Operations Centre (NOC) - to be established at a later date - whose role would be to co-ordinate the UK's response to cyber threats.
The paper claims it is necessary to create the CTAC and NOC because existing arrangements for protecting the UK from cyber attacks are not working.
"Currently there are many different agencies working in this area - GCHQ, the Ministry of Defence, Security Service, Metropolitan Police, Soca [the Serious Organised Crime Agency] and others," it says.
"They share neither a common operating picture nor threat assessment. As a result, too little is known about the extent of vulnerability or scale of the challenge of providing enhanced security."
The Conservative paper also said that a Tory administration would establish a National Security Council, a government body that would ensure the UK's response to cyber security complements the wider strategy on national security.
A second government body, the Cyber Security and Information Assurance Unit, would be created to set national cyber security policy and standards for government departments, suppliers to government and critical infrastructure operators.
The paper also claims that there is a need to improve the ability of UK law enforcement to carry out digital forensics and that all police officers need to be "cyber literate".
It also suggests setting up a scheme to increase understanding of online privacy and safety among young people.
The Conservatives used the paper to repeat earlier pledges to scrap the ID cards scheme, limit the use of surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, revamp the National DNA Database and review the Interception Modernisation Programme.