Tories call for cybercrime minister and new laws

The Conservatives have unveiled proposals on how a future Tory government would tackle online crime, including the creation of a new post of cyber security minister.

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The Conservatives have unveiled proposals on how a future Tory government would tackle online crime, including the creation of a new post of cyber security minister.

Shadow home secretary David Davis has launched a report that looks at the threats posed by cybercrime and proposes measures to tackle this growing problem

Speaking at the 2008 E-Crime Congress in London, Davis described cybercrime as a "serious threat to individuals, business and government" and accused Labour of having ignored the issue.

The report outlines a number of proposals to tackle cybercrime, including creating a national hi-tech crimes police squad, forming a dedicated cybercrime team within the Crown Prosecution Service and appointing a single minister responsible for cybercrime.

"Cybercrime is a growing and serious threat to individuals, business and government," said Davis. "It is a problem that will continue to escalate as technology changes."

The report, titled Cybercrime in the UK, called for a review of existing legislation 'to ensure that it provides effective sanctions and offences to deal with developing cybercrimes".

New laws could also include an obligation on financial service companies to report all malicious security incidents that affect their computer systems. Companies and firms that hold personal data on individuals would be required to report any suspected incidents of hacking into their systems.

"Much of this cyber-crime feeds on cyber-carelessness. Companies underestimate the risk," said the report.

The government's track record of data handling was also lambasted. "The Labour Government has failed in its duty and remains with its head stuck very firmly in the sand."

The report continued: "We would create an offence of reckless handling of personal data by government, making it an offence for a Crown Servant or a government contractor to lose personal data from their control."