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International body launched to fight cyber crime

ICSPA to work with European police agency EUROPOL, aims to help cyber crime units around the world 

By CBR Staff Writer

A Home Office Minister for Crime and Security James Brokenshire has said that governments and private sector companies across the world have to work much more closely to fight cyber crime.

Speaking at the launch of the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA), Brokenshire called for a common international legal framework to punish "scammers, fraudsters and hackers" who usually target victims in countries other than their own thereby making cyber crime a global problem.

ICSPA is an international not-for-profit body that has been formed to work for law enforcement cyber crime units across the world.

"Active international partnerships are central to tackling cyber crime," Brokenshire said.

"There needs to be an international response including international treaties, bilateral treaties and common agreements between countries," he said.

ICSPA, which plans to work with European police agency EUROPOL, will seek funding from the EU, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

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Private sector companies including McAfee, Trend Micro, Core Security Technologies, Visa Europe, Transactis and Article10, are expected to support the venture.

In June this year, senior officials in the defence departments of the UK and the US had asked all countries to join hands against cyber threats and develop a formal international charter to prevent "serious international tensions".

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific security forum in Singapore, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates had said that international cooperation was important to tackle growing threats to cyber security.

China minister for national defence Liang Guanglie also attended the forum.

Gates said "we take the cyber threat very seriously and we see it from a variety of sources, not just one or another country."

Gates added that "serious international tensions" could be avoided if there were rules "that let people know what kinds of acts are acceptable, what kinds of acts are not, and what kinds of acts may in fact be an act of war."

"There is no question that our defence systems are under attack all the time, fairly routinely in fact, and we’ve taken a number of steps to try and protect ourselves."

Fox announced that London will host an international conference on the "war of the invisible enemy" later this year. He added that the conference may lead to legal framework on cyber security.

He said, "Cyber attacks are already happening in large numbers and on a regular basis … which is why we want to convene a proper international conference to see how we can deal with it."

Gates told the forum, "I think all countries should see the cyber threat as a potential problem for them."

"I think that one of the things that would be beneficial would be for there to be a more open dialogue among countries about cyber (threats) and establishing some rules of the road."

Gates said this would lead to a "clearer understanding of the left and right lanes, if you will, so that somebody doesn’t inadvertently or intentionally begin something that escalates and gets out of control."

In March, Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance director Neil Thompson had revealed that the UK is willing to lead the international fight against cyber crime and terrorism, but added that the country will co-ordinate its policy with its partners including the US.

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