MPs will meet today to lay the groundwork for an overhaul of the "ineffective and inadequate" Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA).
The Home Office has already committed itself to review the CMA, which fails to specifically outlaw malicious behaviour such as denial-of-service attacks (DoS). Very few prosecutions have been brought under the legislation.
The All Party Internet Group (Apig) will hold a public inquiry today to gather advice from industry, users and government officials about how to improve the Act.
"It will be a process of informal, pre-legislative scrutiny, which we hope the Home Office will find useful when they come to review the CMA," said Richard Allan, joint vice chairman of Apig.
The 12-page CMA was written at a time when the internet was in its infancy, and there was no idea of the proliferation of devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and computer networks, said Apig member the Earl of Northesk.
"Legislation is always playing catch-up with technology. But we believe it is possible to provide a basis for tackling the problem of internet crime," he added.
Microsoft, which has submitted evidence to the inquiry, said it believed that outlawing attacks on IT systems in general would be a useful improvement on the current Act.
Allan said Apig hopes to publish its recommendations this summer.
But changes to the CMA could be some way off despite the Apig hearing. The proposed Home Office review will only take place "when Parliamentary time allows", according to a Home Office spokeswoman.
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