City IT's concerns over cyberlaw effectiveness

Over three-quarters of the City IT professionals polled in a recent Computer Weekly survey expressed concerns over the...

Over three-quarters of the City IT professionals polled in a recent Computer Weekly survey expressed concerns over the effectiveness of existing UK computer crime legislation to deter hackers, virus writers, denial of service attackers and other computer crime.

More than half (55%) of the 206 respondents said that existing legislation was "not very effective", while a further 22% felt it was "not at all effective".

Paul Fromage, the head of IT at accountancy firm Moore Stephens, is one of those who felt that existing legislation was not very effective. For Fromage a key problem is the lack of effective deterrents. "I think the penalties and the prosecutions that have taken place in recent years are not severe enough to discourage people from hacking," he said.

Computer Weekly's Lock Down the Law campaign, launched in February, aims to co-ordinate the various industry efforts to persuade the Government to update the UK's computer crime laws.

Industry groups are concerned that the Computer Misuse Act, which was formulated before the creation of the World Wide Web, should be updated to bring it into line with current business practices and security threats.

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