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Legislating Against eCrime

The BBC's Bill Thompson wonders if wonders if our MPs are competent to make good cyber-laws?

Describing the new Police and Justice Act (opens in new tab), he writes: "Too few MPs really understand the issues at stake here", "Unless we recognise that MPs need a better understanding of technology we will continue to get bad law, just like we did in 1990. "

He adds: "It makes many changes to the criminal law, but anyone considering writing a virus, hacking a bank system, launching a phishing or denial of service attack or installing some of the dodgier tools that can be used to 'test' network security should pay particular attention to clauses 33 to 36.

These amend the 1990 Computer Misuse Act in line with recommendations made last year by the All Party Internet Group of MPs, and take on board Tom Harris MP's proposals from his recent private member's bill.

"Perhaps", Thompson suggests, "We should limit voting on clauses 33 to 36 of the Police and Justice Bill to those MPs who can demonstrate that they have at least two e-mail addresses, know how to use an RSS reader and can download and install their own web browser. "