The UK Government has launched a £25m initiative committed to tackling crime on the internet.
Unveiled last week by home secretary Jack Straw, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit is to work in conjunction with other bodies such as the National Crime Squad, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and HM Customs and Excise.
The project will also see the Association of Chief Police Officers linking to local police forces, and will involve "close liaison with the IT industry, including internet service providers, telecoms companies and software firms," said Bob Packham, deputy director general of the National Crime Squad.
"Modern technologies such as the internet offer huge legitimate benefits, but also powerful opportunities for criminals, from those involved in financial fraud to the unlawful activities of paedophiles," said Straw. "We are determined that the UK will be the best and safest place in the world to conduct and engage in ecommerce."
Crimes will be split into two categories: 'new crimes, new tools' will include hacking and denial of service attacks; and 'old crimes, new tools' will cover fraud, identity theft, stalking and harassment using technology.
Aled Miles, managing director of antivirus software vendor Symantec, said: "Using computers to commit crime is not new, but it appears to be on the increase. There is no violence involved and the perpetrators are nowhere near the scene. They could be in a different country."
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