In a statement made today by Chancellor George Osborne, the UK has announced an increase in funding to fight cybercrime following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris this past weekend.
According to the Chancellor, “We are ensuring that we have at our disposal the tools and capabilities we need to respond as we need to protect this nation, in cyberspace just as in the physical realm.”
The chancellor who spoke at the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) this morning, stated that in order to tackle any potential cyber-attacks made against the UK’s crucial online infrastructure, an increase in spending must be made by 2020.
The UK will double its current budget allocated for cybercrime & surveillance purposes to £1.9 billion by 2020. Osborne also announced that the UK will be launching its own counter-attacks against any cyber-attacks detected, stating he wants the Islamic State and others to know that the country is ‘able to hit back’ against any attempts made to damage the country’s digital infrastructure.
This announcement comes just weeks after the proposed ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’, which would increase the online powers of security services by legitimizing the bulk collection of data and ability to hack into computers and smartphones. While critics claim this bill is a way for security services to gain more surveillance controls, officials argue these powers are needed to protect the country from terrorists and crime.
Osborne also announced the development of a new National Cyber Center at the GCHQ headquarters, aiming to enhance IT talent at the agency while working with international partners to respond more efficiently and quickly to online attacks.
Read the Chancellors speech on Cyber Security
Read the article on Wired