According to a new report by the Home Affairs Committee, the U.K. is at grave danger of losing the battle against cyber-crime. The report states that much Internet-related financial crime is not being reported to the police and that law enforcement is generally not trained to fight cybercrime.
MPs say that online criminal activity that defrauds victims of money is often not reported to or investigated by law enforcement and is covered up by British banks, who simply reimburse the victims with no attempt to find or prosecute perpetrators. "You can steal more on the Internet than you can by robbing a bank -- and online criminals in 25 countries have chosen the U.K. as their number-one target," stated the Committee's chair, labor MP Keith Vaz. "Astonishingly, some are operating from EU countries. If we don't have a 21st-century response to this 21st-century crime, we will be letting those involved in these gangs off the hook."
The Committee is also concerned about the British court system's ability to deal with this type of 21st-century criminal activity. It recommends that the government review sentencing guidance to ensure that e-criminals receive the same sentences as they would for stealing the same amount of money or data in the physical world. The report also urges the government to establish a state-of-the-art espionage response center to combat Web-based attacks by foreign powers and terrorists.