News / Europe

    Britain Unveils Major Effort to Fight Global Online Crime

    British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for photographers on a balcony during their meeting at Orban's office in the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, October 4, 2012.British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for photographers on a balcony during their meeting at Orban's office in the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, October 4, 2012.
    x
    British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for photographers on a balcony during their meeting at Orban's office in the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, October 4, 2012.
    British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for photographers on a balcony during their meeting at Orban's office in the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, October 4, 2012.
    Stefan Bos
    Britain has launched a multi-million-dollar global initiative to help fight organized criminals and terrorists using the Internet. The plan was rolled out at an international gathering in Budapest aimed at making the Internet more secure.

    Speaking at the international "Budapest Conference on Cyberspace," British Foreign Minister William Hague said Britain wants to lead a worldwide effort to stem the rapidly growing number of cyberspace attacks threatening companies and governments.

    "It has never been easier to become a cybercriminal than it is today," said Hague. "It is now possible to buy off-the-shelf malicious software designed to steal bank details for as little as 3,000 [British] pounds, including access to a 24-hour technical support line. As foreign secretary, I see frequent evidence of deliberate and organized attacks against intellectual and government networks in the United Kingdom."

    Repelling attacks

    He said that when London hosted the Summer Olympic Games, some 200 emails and dozens of British government departments were targeted by cybercriminals attempting to obtain sensitive government information.

    Hague explained that earlier this year, hackers managed to steal the equivalent of 20 million pages of sensitive information from what he called "a well-protected international company." A large manufacturer allegedly was targeted during negotiations with an unidentified foreign government.

    Hague said the attacks prompted his government to allocate an additional amount of roughly $1 billion over the next four years to improve the nation's Internet capabilities. Additionally, Britain will invest more than $3.2 million annually to help other less fortunate countries tackle cyber crime.

    "Cybercriminals and terrorists should have no refuge online, just as they should have no sanctuary offline. I can therefore announce today that the United Kingdom is a developing a new 'center for global cybersecurity capacity building' in the United Kingdom," said Hague. "And, we will be investing 2 million [British] pounds a year to offer countries independent advice on how to build secure and resilient cyberspace, improving coordination and promoting good governance online."

    Supporting free expression

    Hague said concern over illicit Internet activities should not be used as an excuse to limit freedom of expression, even in some established democracies.

    The minister did not mention conference host Hungary, although the country was criticized about legislation that opponents say limits press freedom and increases government control of online and traditional media.

    Hungary's center-right government says the media law is in line with international standards.

    Hague also criticized nations for jailing bloggers and shutting down human rights websites, as well as the video-sharing site YouTube, where a U.S. produced anti-Islam film was posted, prompting violent protests.

    Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said the conference aims to better protect not just companies and governments but all users, including children.

    "We must protect them, just as we need to enhance international security respecting human and civil rights. Our conference will strive to tackle these questions, which concern all of us and which determine our children's future," said Martonyi.

    Supporting the program

    Hungary hopes more countries will embrace the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, which has been signed or ratified by nearly 50 nations since its inception in 2001.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who did not attend the gathering, said in a video message that Washington supports the international attempt to secure cyberspace.

    The Budapest conference, which ended Friday, was centered on the theme "with trust and security for freedom and prosperity." More than 600 delegates from 60 nations, representing governments, the private sector, civil society and the scientific community, attended.

    The event is the first follow-up gathering to the 2011 London Conference on Cyberspace. A similar meeting will be held in October 2013, in South Korea, one of the world's most Internet-savvy nations.

    South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-Han has made it clear that besides fighting cybercrime, the Seoul gathering also wants to tackle "challenges" such as "personal data loss" and malicious content, including pornography, as well as cyberbullying and Internet addiction.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rob Swift from: United Kingdom
    October 07, 2012 4:26 PM
    These high profile initiatives just cover over fundemental problems with the UK. (such as) The whole of China runs on pirate software and no one here dares challenge that. Britain has gone broke bailing out the Bank of Scotland and no one here dares challenge that. Public life in Great Britain is an area where decent people do not go anymore and no one here dares challenge that..

    by: musawi melake from: hq
    October 06, 2012 2:08 PM
    "Cybercriminals and terrorists should have no refuge online, just as they should have no sanctuary offline. I can therefore announce today that the United Kingdom is a developing a new 'center for global cybersecurity capacity building' in the United Kingdom," said Hague. "

    It's you and you allies that support and your military ally, Turkey that harbour a bunch of terrorist groups that is attempting to topple a sovereign state. Where does this stand Mr. Hague? You say you support free speech, then would you allow a full debate on how you, the British, help criminal regimes to carry out everything from targeted assassination to full-scale Genocides to further your foreign policy?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.