The government today unveiled plans for UK IT security special constables to police the web. The proposals came from Eurim, the parliamentary working group that examines the use of IT in society.
Among its recommendations are the creation of a plain English guide to security that could be distributed to all computer users, better risk assessment by companies and government, and the possible deputisation of people within the IT industry under the Special Constables scheme.
"There are some issues that would need to be addressed before such a move could take place," explained Philip Virgo, secretary general of Eurim.
"Currently special constables need to be physically fit, for example, but no-one would be asking IT staff to break up a fight on a Saturday night. It's all about using imaginative solutions.
"What we're talking about is training in evidence gathering so that IT staff can present information to courts in the correct formats."
One of the key recommendations is to apply systems engineering skills to problem reporting and use the information to fight online crime.
The UK should play a leading role in organising the fight against spammers and fraudsters, according to the lobby group.
"I think we can tackle this problem globally," said Brian White, MP for North East Milton Keynes, and chairman of Eurim.
"The UK has a long history of being a world centre for dispute resolution. I would like to see it take a world lead, especially as we have leadership of the G8."
White pointed out that it is in everyone's interest that the internet continued to function well and attract users.
In some cases only simple changes would make a big difference; for example, fraud currently has to be reported on paper or fax whereas electronic reporting would be simpler and easier.
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