Tories blame government for cyber threats


Tories blame government for cyber threats

Mark Ballard

The Conservative party blamed the government for cybersecurity threats yesterday as it launched its cybersecurity roadmap.

Eleanor Laing MP, Conservative shadow justice minister, told delegates at the Connected Nottingham conference on computer security: "The United Kingdom is coming to be seen as the sick man of cyber security."

People were worried about giving out their personal data, she said, after warning of malicious e-mails, viruses, spam, phishing attacks, botnets, pharming, online fraud, and ID fraud and organised crime gangs.

"The scandal of this is that much of it is the government's doing," Eleanor Laing said."The government is actually hindering the development of digitalised economies by providing a feeling of all-pervasive mistrust."

Laing linked cybersecurity with what she termed "the surveillance society". ID cards would create a Wild West where gold fever is replaced by data fever, and should be scrapped.

"The UK will become a utopia to online gangs, endangering the security of digital britain irreversibly," she said. "The government is handing out green cards to ID fraudsters," she added.

Laing proposed a minister responsible for data security in each government department, increased powers for the information commissioner and security clauses for government procurement contracts. She said government data powers should only be ensured through primary legislation, and public cybersecurity, which she called "a fragmented jigsaw" under the present government, should be better co-ordinated.

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