Labour seeks new powers for police and security services to crackdown on cyber crimes including child pornography and terrorism

 

Labour wants new powers for police and security services to crackdown on cyber crimes like child pornography and terrorism but only with extra checks on how crime agencies are using sensitive data, the shadow home secretary will say.

Technological developments have sparked a wave of new types of crime and a 30% hike in recorded online fraud is just the "tip of the iceberg", Yvette Cooper will warn.

But fears about abuse of information in the wake of leaks by ex-US security contractor Edward Snowden, which revealed widespread spying by government listening post GCHQ, means new safeguards are needed to protect privacy.

Controversial plans by Home Secretary Theresa May to enable the police and security services to track emails and other online communications under a "snooper's charter" were blocked by the Liberal Democrats.

Ms Cooper will warn the Government it must not "bury its head in the sand" as she calls for reforms to keep up with the ever-changing cyber world.

Much stricter controls over access to private data must be introduced to give the public confidence amid fears about the way information can currently be accessed and used, she will say.

In a speech in central London to the Demos think tank, Ms Cooper will call for a new national strategy for tackling online fraud, tougher action to tackle online child pornography and an overhaul of parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, which keeps a check on the work of the intelligence agencies.

She is expected to say: "In the face of growing online crime and abuse, and the use of online communications by criminals and extremists, the police, intelligence and security agencies need to be able to operate more effectively in this digital world. But for them to do so, we also need stronger safeguards and limits to protect our privacy and sustain confidence in their vital work.

"The oversight and legal frameworks are now out of date. That means we need major reforms to oversight and a thorough review of the legal framework to keep up with changing technology. And there are difficult wider challenges about privacy, data and the private sector, and how we protect British citizens' interests in a global internet where everyone follows different rules.

"Above all we need the Government to engage in a serious public debate about these new challenges and the reforms that are needed. Online communication and technology is forcing us to think again about our traditional frameworks for balancing privacy and safety, liberty and security. The Government can't keep burying its head in the sand and hoping these issues will go away - they are too important for that, for our liberty, our security, the growth of our economy and the health of our democracy."

She will add: "Perhaps most serious of all has been the growth in online child abuse. Last year the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency received 18,887 reports of child abuse - an increase of 14% on the year.

"The police and security services have been under pressure to explain why they didn't know more about the murderers of Drummer Lee Rigby, and why more is not being done to disrupt the use of the internet by violent extremists looking to radicalise young people.

"At the same time the new NHS database has just stalled due to public and GP anxiety about the privacy safeguards. And last summer Theresa May's Communications Data Bill finally ran into the ground after it lost the confidence of the all-party Joint Committee set up to scrutinise it.

"And - with perhaps the widest ramifications of all - former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked hundreds of thousands of US intelligence documents and 58,000 British intelligence documents - raising serious concern about the impact on national security and about the scale of activity of intelligence agencies all at the same time.

"These issues - online crime, private sector data storage, intelligence operations -are often treated as separate. Yet all raise the same fundamental questions about how we sustain both liberty and security in a digital age."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future