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Internet Police Required?

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We all get them, the emails informing us that we're entitled to several million Dollars of 'monies' due to the death of Colonel Fitzwilliam Marmaduke, whose considerable fortune has been gifted to you. We all ought to know these emails are scams, and such activities are just the tip of the iceberg where Internet crimes are concerned.

A newly published report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee has suggested that " Hardware manufacturers, Internet service providers, banks, the police and government must take action to promote greater security for customers using the net", with the Chairman of the Committee, Lord Broers, opining that organisations that profit from Internet services needed to take greater responsibility for online security.

Among the recommendations of the report are:

- That the government and legislators should ensure the "right incentives are in place to persuade businesses to take the necessary steps to act proportionately to protect personal data".

- That banks and financial institutions should be held liable for losses incurred as a result of electronic fraud.

- The introduction of a data security breach notification law, which would provide "workable definitions of data security breaches", a mandatory and uniform reporting system and rules on form and content of notification letters.

- Examination of effectiveness of the Information Commissioner's Office, including creating powers to conduct random audits of security of business and organisations that hold personal data.

These are just the recommendations for businesses, and the report goes further in suggesting various solutions to improve awareness of Internet security and policing on the Internet including: providing a web based reporting system for "e-crime", and that the requirement for online frauds to be reported to banks before the police should be revised as a matter of urgency. Funds to create a Police Central e-crime Unit should also be released "without waiting for the private sector to come forward with funding."

Link: Full Report (PDF)

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