Lords blame weak regulation for net's lawlessness

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A House of Lords committee has attacked government and industry neglect for the internet's growing reputation as an haven for cyber criminals.

"The steps currently being taken by many businesses trading over the internet to protect their customer's personal information are inadequate. The refusal of the financial services sector in particular to accept responsibility for the security of personal information is disturbing, and is compounded by apparent indifference at government level," the Lords Science and Technology Committee concluded in its report on personal internet security issued last week.

The committee took issue with the government's insistence that responsibility for personal security rests with the individual. "This is no longer realistic, and compounds the perception that the I...

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By Anonymous
15th Aug 2007 08:45

Regulation - not convinced .......
Has it really go anything to do with regulation?

Internet abuse takes many forms - from spam & card fraud to child pornography[***]

Spam, DOS attacks etc generally originate from users PC's in the first place where unprotected computers are enlisted as part of the attack force; so what use is regulation. Is one really going to pursue the owner of the host computer who may be an unwitting participant?

Social networking areas (i.e. Facebook etc) - nothing intrinsically wrong with these programs just the way they are used and the fact that users place far too much trust in them. This approach lays the individual wide open to identity theft. How is regulation going to help with user’s naivety/stupidity?

Child pornography[***] - generally the users are willing participants. With subscription sites just follow the money. Any bank/card processor should be hit with swinging fines as accessories and their licences reviewed. Private shared files are harder to track although some image files do contain encoded information which enables backtracking

Credit card - baring hacking of credit card databases the internet (https://) is generally just an enabler to make card holder not present transactions. Generally 'charge-backs' are an iniquitous way of banks covering themselves (as is chip/pin). The trader has sold the good in good faith against a valid credit card; a stolen credit card is not the traders fault so why are they being penalised? The banks themselves should take the hit - it is their card which is involved

The internet is a stateless medium and unless you wish to adopt the censorship approach of China to which Google et al disgracefully subscribe then how do we intend to enforce regulation?

Having said all that we should look closer to home when discussing security; the DVLC flogs user personal details to any fly-by-night parking firm in clear breach of security.

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