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U.K. Police Lacks Expertise in Handling Cyber Crime

Microsoft and people of the open source community reported to the science and technology committee of the House of Lords that U.K. police did not have the skills and expertise to handle cases of Internet crime, effectively. The Science and Technology Committee invited the two groups to provide the necessary evidence as part of assistance to the Committee's investigation into issues of personal online security.

According to Jerry Fishenden, national technology officer for Microsoft UK, there is need for an easy reporting system so that victims of cyber crime can approach a body that is there to receive complaints. With a streamlined reporting structure and appropriate resources the body can investigate and prosecute the guilty wherever appropriate. Webuser published this view in its news on January 19, 2007.

Fishenden cited the example of Internet Crime Complaints Center of FBI established in 1990s. This Center is a single point of reporting, which accepts at least 10,000 complaints every year and possesses the authority and resources to examine those complaints.

He added that establishing a similar mechanism for U.K. would enable the IT industry in U.K. get a stronghold on the extent of problem.

Fishenden continued with an example where if a person lodges a police complaint of an online phishing attack, would the authorities treat it similar to an attempted pick pocketing? Understandably, more correct than a model like that would be required to deal with cyber crime.

Alan Cox, a primary figure behind the development of the Linux operating system and representative of the open source community supported Fishenden's views. He said if an individual goes up to the sergeant at a police station, the sergeant lacks the understanding power for the problem and then there is no one else to approach.

Therefore, stressed Cox, there should be something that deals with e-crime and computers either at a point in police station or some other central contact venue.

Last year, many banks missed on reporting attacks on their networks either to maintain customer confidence or they lacked trust in the police's ability to handle cyber crimes.

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