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UK Government Entreated to Protect Security of Internet Users

The Science and Technology Committee of the UK House of Lords is urging the government to take action against Internet crime and protect individuals on the Internet.

According to the committee, the threat of cyber crime is a future menace for the Internet and its users. The committee also thinks that the existing decentralized manner of dealing with online crime threatens public confidence.

The government's response to the wide-ranging report of the committee about users' personal security on the Internet was presented before the Parliament on October 24, 2007.

In a statement, the Secretary of State for the Home Department said that the government disagrees with the argument that public confidence on the Internet has eroded and that there is lawlessness everywhere. Webuser published this on November 2, 2007.

The government, which feels no need to bring about a regulatory change, said it would not be a wise decision to commit to any regulatory change until the clarification of the requirement to fulfill European legislation takes place.

The government also rejected some recommendations - one being the creation of a kitemark to help users determine which Internet service providers is secured.

Among the various challenges to the security of the Internet, one relates to the lack of real figures describing the extent of the problem. This can be solved with an appropriate law that would provide the relevant figures, said a committee member, Lord Erroll. The law would primarily strengthen the company procedures, but the level of the problem is really unknown, Erroll argued. ZDNet published this on October 31, 2007.

Erroll further said the powers under the law would apply equally to the government and the private sector. The committee thinks this could be the reason why the government is reluctant to adopt it.

The government disagreed with another issue - making hardware and software vendors answerable for their products' security, and making banking institutions to guarantee refunds of e-fraud incidences.

Security researcher at Cambridge University, Richard Clayton, who also contributed to the security policy working groups in the UK, criticized the government's complacency and inaction. The Register published this on October 30, 2007.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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