Government cuts and lack of action on Get Safe Online criticised by former Home Secretary

News by Dan Raywood

The government has been accused of failing to continue the Get Safe Online project and cutting back on essential cyber security services.

The government has been accused of failing to continue the Get Safe Online project and cutting back on essential cyber security services.

According to David Blunkett MP, former home secretary and chairman of the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance, there is a danger that the Cyber Security Strategy will undo the work of the Police e-crime Unit and GCHQ.

Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit in London, he said Labour spent £1bn equipping schools over a period of four years, but there was no point in having technology and know-how if those using the technology and those involved with processes are not properly trained.

Asked if the public should be better equipped and educated on cyber security, Blunkett said: “Martha Lane-Fox is now asked to get people online rather than get them safe; can the government not do both?”

He added: “Faced with the Olympic Games, we need to collate, hold and share data on millions of people and the challenge is to get it right in a practical sense, we are all in it together.

“If we can replicate what is acceptable in the physical environment, then can we get our act together so international companies recognise that this is a transnational issue.”

He later claimed that the number of size of online attacks were outweighed by the "sheer incompetence in handling data". He said the government is cutting essential services, and pointed specifically to police cuts as a problem.

He added: “The document that Francis Maude put out encourages people to learn online rather than attending sessions. In 1997 I remember going into the Department of Education and Employment; we found computer that had never been opened, but we should not delude ourselves about what has been learned.”

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