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Employers back campaign aims

Bill Goodwin
A cross-industry group representing some of the UK's largest employers has joined calls for a review of the Computer Misuse Act.

In a move echoing Computer Weekly's campaign to Lockdown the Law on cybercrime, the Information Assurance Advisory Council, a coalition of employers, police and public sector bodies, will urge the Government to reinforce the Act.

The group's manifesto warns the Government that with services, banking and shopping increasingly being conducted online, an attack on the UK's information infrastructures could bring "society to a halt".

It urges the Government to appoint a cybersecurity tsar in the Office of the E-Envoy, with responsibility for setting policy across government and to champion information assurance. The tsar should lead a comprehensive review of existing and planned legislation and regulation to determine its impact on information assurance, it says.

"An important step is to achieve legislative and regulatory harmonisation to ensure that future legislation reconciles the Home Office aims of making the UK 'a safer place to live and work' and the Department of Trade and Industry aims of making the UK 'the best environment for e-commerce'," it says.

Government should review the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to bring it into line with the Council of Europe's cybercrime convention. Computer crimes tend to be treated more leniently by the courts than equivalent crimes in the real world, and this discrepancy needs to be removed, the council says.

The Government should avoid repeating mistakes made in legislation such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the emergency powers legislation, by consulting business and other stakeholders before new laws are drafted, it adds.

Law must be changed >>

bill.goodwin@rbi.co.uk

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