Public Services > Central Government

Amber Rudd launches government crackdown on the Dark Web

David Bicknell Published 12 April 2018

Home Secretary, speaking at NCSC cyber conference in Manchester, pledges £9m to enhance UK’s specialist cyber capabilities and calls for more cyber specialists to volunteer their help


Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced a major crackdown on the Dark Web.

In a speech at the National Cyber Security Centre’s annual conference in Manchester, Rudd said the government would be giving over £9m to enhance the UK’s specialist cyber capabilities, including work to combat criminals who ‘continually exploit the anonymity of the Dark Web.'

Rudd said, “The funding will help to build on the ongoing investigative work of the National Crime Agency’s Dark Web Intelligence Unit and the security and intelligence agencies, to disrupt and bring to justice those who use the dark web as a marketplace to trade illegal goods and services, including drugs, firearms and malware.”

She added, “We will also develop a new national training programme for police and the wider criminal justice system, sponsored by the National Police Chiefs Council. This will ensure that officers and others are equipped to properly investigate and prosecute cases relating to the dark web.

“And beyond the dark web, it’s right that we take all the steps we can to learn, improve and test our ability to respond to a national cyber crisis."

Rudd pointed to the future running of the UK’s first live national cybercrime exercise to test the response of the security and intelligence agencies, police and first responders, in the event of a large scale cyber incident.

She also referenced the government’s launch of a new £13.5m Cyber Innovation Centre in London to help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in the growing cybersecurity sector, and an investment of £50m over the next year to bolster cyber capabilities within law enforcement at a national, regional and local level. That includes money for the National Crime Agency to support its work tackling “sophisticated cybercriminals and the prevention of cybercrime in the first place.”

Rudd pledged over £5m would be invested in local and regional policing to set-up dedicated cybercrime units in every police force in England and Wales as well as £3m to continue the CyberAware campaign to educate the public and businesses on how to take simple steps to protect against cybercrime.

Rudd said there would be more money to support victims of cybercrime, improving the information they have on how their crime is progressing and being dealt with, and pointed to the instance of her father being a victim of fraud.

“Because whilst criminals plot and hide behind their screens, their actions have real-life consequences for their victims. My own father was the victim of fraud and I know from personal experience the importance of supporting those who have been victimised through no fault of their own. And now that it’s happening online, it’s happening to even more people,” she said.

Rudd also called for those who have cyber skills to offer their help as volunteers. She said, “…if you have cyber skills, then my plea is that you’re generous with them. There’s valuable technical cyber expertise in the private sector which can be harnessed by law enforcement in the fight against cybercrime.

“My department has worked with the police to increase the number of skilled volunteers – cyber specials, and cyber volunteers – who lend their time and expertise to the National Crime Agency or their local police force. I want to see more of the home-grown expertise which we are rightly proud of, in use. And I encourage all of you who have the skills, to get involved.”


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