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UK gov to take on dark web crims with £9m of dedicated funding

LOOK OUT CYBER CROOKS as the Tories are coming for you, thanks to home secretary Amber Rudd earmarking £9m of funding to tackle dark web criminals.

Crims into trading all manner of illegal goods and illicit services often use the dark web to do so anonymously and without detection. But Rudd wants to use some of the £50m used by the Home Office to improve the UK’s cyber defences to hunt out said criminals.

Rudd is set to reveal the funding at a National Cyber Security Centre conference in Manchester on Wednesday. 

“A dark and dangerous place where anonymity emboldens people to break the law in the most horrifying of ways. A platform of dangerous crimes and horrific abuse. A sickening shopping list of services and products are available,” she’s set to say.

“So today I’m pleased to announce that we will be giving over £9m to enhance the UK’s specialist law enforcement response. They will use this money to help combat the criminals who continually exploit the anonymity of the dark web.”

How exactly that funding will be put to use has not been disclosed for “operational reasons” – i.e Rudd and co don’t want to give dark web crooks a head start to get away from UK cyber authorities.

In a classic Tory ‘get off your arse, plebs’ fashion, Rudd will be encouraging individuals and businesses to take on some of the responsibility for defending themselves against the activities of cybercriminals.

“In the same way that shops protect themselves from burglary with locks, alarms and security guards, I expect businesses to take equivalent precautions digitally,” she’s expected to spout. “The world of cyber is fast-developing and we need a fast-developing response to match – one that recognises that it is the responsibility of everyone in the UK to fight the evolving threat.”

We’d argue that responsibility would be better thrown the way of the authorities, as £9m of funding would do a better job at defending against cyber attacks than the free AVG anti-virus many of us use for protection.

But in fairness, Rudd is dedicating another £5m from the £50m pot to tackle cybercrime at a local level, so at least a few pennies of taxpayers are being put to direct work.

We’re not overly convinced about politicians interfering with tech companies, as looking at the way US senators probed Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and data privacy, it would appear that there’s a lot of tech-ignorant people in power trying to stick their noses into stuff they don’t fully understand.

But at least Rudd’s plans involve making things directly safer for UK citizens. µ

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