Combating Computer Crime

On-line crime is one of the fastest growing crimes in Britain today. Senior police officers estimate that a crime with an online element is committed every ten seconds. This has serious consequences for not only our economy, but our everyday lives where the virtual world has become an integral part of the day to day functioning of the physical world. These growing ‘digital dangers' of the online environment have not been taken seriously enough by Labour. Conservatives would take action on a number of fronts.

We would make it easier to report online scams and computer enabled crime. This would build on the initial work of the National Fraud Strategic Authority to provide both tactical and strategic intelligence on computer enabled crime and fraud. Where emerging patterns of risk or organised scams emerge, alerts would be provided through an on-line safety portal. This would also give computer users practical steps to help protect computer users falling victim to on-line crime.

We would raise corporate risk management surrounding data retention by requiring businesses holding significant quantities of personal data to report incidents where personal information has been lost, stolen or compromised and if required notify their customers that they may be at risk of identity fraud. Education and awareness of the potential risks in the on-line environment also need to be enhanced. That's why we would promote on-line safety as a core part of all ICT training in schools and colleges.

Enforcement needs to be strengthened to send a clear message that online crime will not be tolerated. We would provide clearer co-ordination between the various law enforcement agencies responsible for computer crime and establish a dedicated team within the Crown Prosecution Service. We would also strengthen international co-operation to assist in cross-border investigations.

More of the same simply isn't an option.