Feds fend off cyber crime with funding schemes

The government has been allocating more money into efforts to fight cyber crime, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Public Safety, following a report by Toronto-based research firm International Perspectives, highlighting the need for government to beef up the fight against online crooks.

Philip McLinton, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety, said the ministry is committed to securing the resources they need to address “ever-evolving and increasingly sophisticated forms of crime, such as cyber crime.”

The International Perspective’s report on cyber crime entitled, ‘Cyber Crime: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility’, urged the Canadian government to take further action.

Commenting on the study, McLinton noted that last August, the Ministry of Public Safety announced $100,000 in federal funding to support the Canadian Association of Police Boards (CAPB) in conducting a comprehensive analysis of cyber crime in Canada.

With respect to addressing Internet predators and child exploitation, McLinton added the Ministry of Public Safety is “committed to the global fight against the sexual exploitation of children.”

“The government of Canada continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address serious crime, and Budget 2007 allocated an additional $6 million per year to strengthen existing initiative to combat sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.”

Ian Wilms is the president of the CAPB, which is conducting the comprehensive study of cyber crime in Canada. Wilms is also working to establish CyberPol, a global centre envisioned to become a central agency for fighting cyber crime.

“We’re trying to ensure that people understand that (CyberPol) is going to be a collaborative centre of excellence, bringing together best practices and a centre that can help facilitate issues with computer crime, whether it’s research or legal issues,” said Wilms.

Wilms added that a site at the University of Calgary has been earmarked as the temporary home for CyberPol, and that there is currently a law before the legislature to create the shell organization of CyberPol.

He noted that the cyber crime impact study they are conducting will include speaking with people across Canada to determine the extent of cyber crime. They will also be conducting a feasibility study as to how best to implement the CyberPol project.

“Canada’s so far behind (battling cyber crime) it’s mind boggling,” said Wilms. “I think the study is going to show Canadians that we are being abused badly, I think people will be shocked by the number of pedophiles on the Internet.”

Wilms added that law enforcement is not nearly at the capacity that is needed, and that Canada does not have the right laws in place to go after online offenders.

Bruce Cowper, Microsoft Canada’s senior program manager for security initiative, conceded that more needs to be done.

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