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UK Government Shuns Internet Security Report

Posted: 30th Oct, 2007 By: MarkJ
Readers may recall that The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee issued an interesting report into ‘Personal Internet Security’ during August of this year (here).

It made several recommendations, including the encouragement of UK ISP's to establish a "kite mark" for their Internet security services. However the government's official reply has made no commitment to accept any of the major recommendations:

The Earl of Erroll, a member of the committee that undertook the inquiry, said: “The Government’s response is a huge disappointment. We heard compelling evidence of substantial amounts of e-crime and we were entirely persuaded that individuals were unable, on their own, to continue to keep themselves secure.

The Internet relies on the confidence of millions of users, and that confidence is in danger of being undermined unless we can reverse the trends that our witnesses told us about.

We don’t know quite how bad things have become today - there are no reliable figures for e-crime. We recommended that the Government set up a group to develop a scheme for recording all forms of e-crime.

The reply just says that the Government ‘do not see that there is a need’ for this. If you have no idea of the scale of the problem, how can you design solutions?

Throughout our inquiry we tried to think outside the box, to look ahead ten years at what the Internet might be like, taking into account the emerging risks and challenges today. That’s why our recommendations concentrated on incentives - we must ensure that everyone is motivated to improve security. Unfortunately, the Government dismissed every recommendation out of hand, and their approach seems to solely consist of putting their head in the sand.
”

What’s that? The government with its head in the sand over an issue related to the Internet? That's surprising because normally they're so far out of touch that heads can be found exploding in outer space, let alone merely being stuck in the sand.

However the original report failed to detail some of its recommendations, with aspects like the "kite mark" lacking detail. Likewise the reality is that ISP's can only secure a connection so far, with end-users naturally needing to take the bulk of responsibility.
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