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UK - Internet Firms should Step up Protection of Online Surfers

As Internet fraud through computer gets more sophisticated, people are nearly losing hope in protecting themselves on their own. UK Government is therefore urging Internet firms to tackle the 'Wild West' of cyber space.

Internet companies, the government and retailers must take greater initiative to safeguard online surfers from the threats of the lawless cyber 'Wild West', as per an influential team of MPs in a peers report.

The industry and government follow a 'laissez faire' idea about online crime. This could drastically lower the economic confidence of public in the use of Internet. As computer fraud become more refined, people lose hope in guarding themselves alone, said the Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords.

It is not possible to rely on the individuals alone to secure themselves properly and adequately. The bad guys will always outfox them, said committee Chairman Lord Broers. Reuters published this on August 10, 2007.

Cyber crime as one of the criminal activities is growing very fast, not only in Britain but elsewhere too. It includes a wide variety of illegal operations like computer hacking, virus attacks, downloading porn images, financial scams, e-mail stalking and setting up Websites that encourage racial hatred. Banks all over the world are losing millions of pounds owing to banking fraud over the Internet. In 2006, British banks lost over £33 Million in this manner.

The committee report demanded that ISPs, hardware manufacturers, banks, the government and police should step up their action to enhance customer security on the net. It should be mandated on software companies and banks to compensate customers who become victims to e-crime where security loopholes exist, rather than shifting the risk on customers' shoulders.

The report insisted that government in cooperation with the European Union should analyze if they can legally hand over to makers of computer and software greater responsibility for their product security.

Police should have a network of computer laboratories to fight online crime, the report suggested.

It also pointed out the absence of clear statistics on e-crime. The government must also ensure courts' awareness of the magnitude and direction of e-crime problems.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

» SPAMfighter News - 8/24/2007

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