Select Committee on Science and Technology Fifth Report


The inquiry invites evidence on security issues affecting private individuals when using communicating computer-based devices, either connecting directly to the Internet, or employing other forms of inter-connectivity.

In particular, the Committee invites evidence on the following questions:

Defining the problem

  • What is the nature of the security threat to private individuals? What new threats and trends are emerging and how are they identified?
  • What is the scale of the problem? How are security breaches affecting the individual user detected and recorded?
  • How well do users understand the nature of the threat?

Tackling the problem

  • What can and should be done to provide greater computer security to private individuals? What, if any, are the potential concerns and trade-offs?
  • What is the level of public awareness of the threat to computer security and how effective are current initiatives in changing attitudes and raising that awareness?
  • What factors may prevent private individuals from following appropriate security practices?
  • What role do software and hardware design play in reducing the risk posed by security breaches? How much attention is paid to security in the design of new computer-based products?
  • Who should be responsible for ensuring effective protection from current and emerging threats?
  • What is the standing of UK research in this area?

Governance and regulation

  • How effective are initiatives on IT governance in reducing security threats?
  • How far do improvements in governance and regulation depend on international co-operation?
  • Is the regulatory framework for Internet services adequate?
  • What, if any, are the barriers to developing information security systems and standards and how can they be overcome?

Crime prevention

  • How effective is Government crime prevention policy in this area? Are enforcement agencies adequately equipped to tackle these threats?
  • Is the legislative framework in UK criminal law adequate to meet the challenge of cyber-crime?
  • How effectively does the UK participate in international actions on cyber-crime?

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