UK to dispatch ‘Cyber Bobbies’ to police the web

25 Nov 2011

‘Cyber Specials’ look set to be the new face of UK policing as the UK government today revealed its strategy to counter the threat of cyber crime to its stg£100bn a year online economy.

The UK government is pioneering a joint public/private sector cyber security hub that will see vital information on cyber threats shared in order to respond decisively. A pilot will begin in December involving five key sectors, including defence, finance, telecoms, pharmaceuticals and energy.

The strategy also involves expanding the use of ‘Cyber Specials’ to help the police tackle cyber crime. This involves encouraging all police forces in the UK to make use of the Metropolitan Police’s Central e-crime Unit (PCeU).

A cyber crime unit will also be created within the National Crime Agency by 2013.

Police and courts will also be encouraged to make use of existing cyber sanctions for cyber offences such as banning use of instant messaging services to restrict the ability of online fraudsters. It has been suggested new powers will be created that will bring banning the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for hackers or fraudsters caught committing e-crimes.

A new Defence Cyber Operations Group is to be created in the Ministry of Defence and new military tactics and capabilities will be developed. A general will be appointed to head up the development of cyber defences and moves will be made to protect critical national infrastructure from cyber attacks.

UK’s internet boom to generate up to 400,000 jobs by 2016

Around 6pc of the UK’s GDP is generated by the internet – larger than agriculture or utilities – and some 365,000 new jobs are going to be generated by the UK’s internet boom over the next five years.

To protect this – there are more than 20,000 malicious emails detected by the UK government each month – the UK is taking no chances and is bolstering its cyber defences.

“While the internet is undoubtedly a force for social and political good, as well as crucial to the growth of our economy, we need to protect against the threats to our security,” the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron MP said.

“This strategy not only deals with the threat from terrorists to our national security, but also with the criminals who threaten our prosperity as well as blight the lives of many ordinary people through cyber crime.

“Cyber security is a top priority for government and we will continue to work closely with the police, security services, international partners and the private sector to ensure that the UK remains one of the most secure places in the world to do business,” Cameron said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years