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House of Lords to investigate Net security

By Alun Williams

Posted on 28 Jul 2006 at 16:40

The House of Lords is turning its attention to the issue of Internet security and its threat to the individual. Citing the spread of broadband and the increase of e-commerce, its Science and Technology Committee is launching an inquiry 'to investigate personal internet security'.

The Select Committee will be chaired by Lord Broers and its work has begun today with a call for evidence. Note that it welcomes information from members of the public who have had direct experience of online security problems (the deadline for submissions is 23 October 2006).

'Technology is changing so fast that no-one seems to have had time to step back and look in the round at the emerging threats to personal security, and the ways society might counter them,' said Lord Broers. 'This inquiry gives Parliament a chance to do just that.'

Areas the Committee will consider include: gauging the scale of the security threat to private individuals; considering how well the public understands the nature of the threat; what can be done (by software and hardware manufacturers) to provide greater personal internet security; and the degree to which the Government is equipped to combat cyber crime.

The inquiry will also consider whether the legislative framework in UK criminal law is adequate to meet what is described as a growing challenge.

The full inquiry itself will be formally launched in the autumn and is expected to produce a report by the summer of 2007.

Other members of the Committee include Lord Howie of Troon, Lord Mitchell, Lord Patel, Lord Paul, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, Lord Young of Graffham. Other members will be confirmed in the autumn.

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