Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160 - 161)

WEDNESDAY 13 DECEMBER 2006

MR COLIN WHITTAKER, MS SANDRA QUINN, MR MATTHEW PEMBLE, MS SANDRA ALZETTA AND MR ROBERT LITTAS

  Q160  Lord Young of Graffham: The only way you can attack it is from the credit card side?

  Ms Quinn: Can I just add that one of the things that happened this year is that the House of Lords changed the legislation on the Data Protection Act to allow the Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre to share data with the banking industry about those people prosecuted for buying illegal images on-line with their credit or debit cards, so that we can now be passed information about the credit or debit card used so the banking industry now knows about it to make sure that card is taken away from the perpetrator.

  Mr Pemble: You will also be aware that there have been recent changes in American legislation with regard to on-line gambling. The ban of the acceptance of credit card payments from American citizens has meant that all of the on-line gaming facilities, and subsequently the banks that acquire their credit card transactions from them, have had to change their systems to comply with US law. So it really is a matter of complying with the law of the various countries. Individual banks, as opposed to the card schemes, may very well have an ethics policy which may be much tougher than the law. To mention a name, the Co-operative Bank in the UK markets itself as an actively ethical bank so you would expect their internal rules to be slightly different.

  Q161  Earl of Erroll: It is back to co-operation with law enforcement—if something like the National e-Crime Unit was to re-emerge now that the NHTCU has been overtaken by SOCA, would you be interested in collating small-scale incidents and analysing them and giving intelligence to such a unit?

  Mr Whittaker: Very much. We saw the recent announcements by Commander Sue Wilkinson of the Met, who is the ACPO lead on eCrime, who was making some very positive suggestions on the need for a UK national centre of excellence now the NHTCU is no longer there to co-ordinate activities. We think that is a very worthwhile and very useful proposition and one which we would support and contribute to and co-ordinate with.

  Mr Pemble: The banks do share intelligence data with SOCA eCrime and with the SCDEA in Scotland. It is not always possible for police resource to be put into criminal investigations, that is a matter for society, but there is no hiding of fraud to that extent. A lot of information is shared with the police for them to make use of in intelligence and statistical work as opposed to specific criminal investigation.

  Chairman: On that positive note that there is some collaboration, let me thank you all very much for answering all these questions. We have had a lot of questions and you have answered them clearly and well and we very much appreciate it. We very much appreciate your time and your coming to talk to us, so thank you all very much.



 
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