Home SECURITY The United Kingdom intends to revise the outdated cybercrime law and expand its jurisdiction

The United Kingdom intends to revise the outdated cybercrime law and expand its jurisdiction

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The United Kingdom intends to revise the outdated cybercrime law and expand its jurisdiction

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The United Kingdom intends to revise the outdated cybercrime law and expand its jurisdiction

Local law enforcers have long run into various restrictions in the investigation of crimes, their pleas have finally been heard.

UK legislators are debating the need to update the cybercrime law, the current version of which now tritely interferes with the effective fight against hackers and other cyber intruders. Such an opinion experts said during yesterday’s parliamentary hearing on the national security strategy.

The Computer Misuse Act of 1990 prohibits unauthorized access to, damage to, or destruction of computer systems and data. However, the law does not criminalize data theft, said Graham Biggar, director general of the UK’s National Crime Agency.

“Currently, data theft is not a crime, or at least not a crime in the sense that we can use it effectively. It is also not a crime to illegally handle stolen property if it is data. These are serious obstacles for us in the investigation and suppression of crimes,” Biggar said.

The speaker also called for greater powers for the British authorities to prosecute foreign cybercriminals. Under current law, jurisdiction is limited to UK citizens or those using UK infrastructure. As an example of this constraint, Biggar cited recent sanctions against seven Russians accused of developing and operating the TrickBot malware.

“We are currently unable to issue arrest warrants against offenders who are overseas, are not British citizens and have not used British infrastructure in their attacks,” Biggar said, clearly implying that sanctions alone against such cyber-intruders are not at all enough.

Amending the law would allow the National Crime Agency and other British federal agencies to obtain criminal warrants for criminals who would be included on the Interpol wanted list and could be extradited to the UK for trial.

Cybersecurity experts, in turn, are pushing for changes to this law to remove vulnerability search and penetration testing from the list of criminal offenses, based on the law prohibiting unauthorized access to computer systems.

Although the UK Department of Defense confirmed back in 2020 that it would not prosecute researchers who abide by its disclosure policy, specialists would be more comfortable if this was written directly into the law.

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