Embargo: Immediate Friday 28 July 2006

Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee are this week launching a new inquiry into personal internet security. With the ever growing use of home computers, the spread of broadband, and the rise in internet banking and commerce the importance of proper internet security measures has never been greater.

The inquiry will provide the first in depth Parliamentary study of an issue that will be of ever increasing importance to the public, business and Government.

The Committee are inviting evidence on a range of issues to do with personal internet security. Members are keen to receive evidence from members of the public who have had direct experience of problems with internet security.

Areas the Committee will consider include:

  • What is the nature of the security threat to private individuals and what is the scale of the problem?

  • How well do the public understand the nature of the threat they face?

  • What can be done to provide greater personal internet security? How much does this depend on software and hardware manufacturers?

  • Is the regulatory framework for internet services adequate?

  • How well equipped is Government to combat cyber crime? Is the legislative framework in UK criminal law adequate to meet this growing challenge?

Commenting, Lord Broers Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, said:

"We are doing more and more online, from our weekly grocery shop to banking to downloading music and video and, increasingly, using the internet to make telephone call. Those who haven't yet done so are being encouraged to get online - but how many of us know about the risks?

"Technology is changing so fast that no-one seems to have had time to step back and look in the round at the emerging threats to personal security, and the ways society might counter them.

"This inquiry gives Parliament a chance to do just that."

Notes to Editors

1. A call for evidence was issued on 28/7/2006 and can be found here:

2. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is: 23/10/2006

3. The members of the Committee who will conduct the inquiry are: Lord Broers (Chairman), Lord Howie of Troon, Lord Mitchell, Lord Patel, Lord Paul, Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, Lord Young of Graffham. Other members will be confirmed in the autumn.

4. For more information or to arrange an interview with Lord Broers, who will chair the inquiry, please contact Owen Williams (Committee Press Officer) on 020 7219 8659 or