Meeting the Cybercrime Challenge

March 1, 2002

The Government is harnessing the latest thinking and technology in the fight against Cybercrime, the Attorney-General said.

“The opportunities presented by the explosion in new technologies are staggering. The Government is committed to making the UK the best and safest place in the world to conduct e-commerce. The benefits of the information society should be available to all.

But there is a darker side to cyberspace. With these opportunities come threats. Cybercrime is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. Its proceeds have been put as high as $40bn a year. It encompasses offences ranging from money laundering, drug dealing and terrorism to cyberstalking, hacking and paedophilia.

Government and prosecutors are rising to the challenge. The legislative framework to tackle high-tech offences is wide and growing.

The Crown Prosecution Service and Serious Fraud Office, for which I am responsible, are at the forefront of efforts to bring cybercrime to justice. The CPS was commended by the National Crime Squad for its work in the recent wonderland case.

The scale of this child porn ring was staggering:120 suspects in 13 countries; 750,000 images seized in the UK alone. It is now developing a cadre of specialist lawyers to handle high-tech cases.

The SFO works regularly with seizure, imaging and analysis of electronic data in cases of fraud.

And since cybercrime respects no organisational or national boundaries, both agencies are increasingly co-operating within the domestic and international arenas.

Cyberspace is not just another form of communication whose legal problems can be accommodated within traditional structures. The government is responding imaginatively to the fast-moving challenges posed by cybercrime. The CPS and SFO are at the forefront of these efforts.”