Labor attacks online safety bill delays as it highlights Christmas scams | Cybercriminality

Nearly £80m will be lost to online fraud and scams over the 12 Days of Christmas, Labor said as it criticized ministers for delays to the security bill online.

Data from police forces analyzed by the party revealed that there were 312 daily incidents of online fraud or cybercrime on average in 2019/20 and 2020/21, with the amount lost to fraud equivalent to £6.36m daily or £76m during the festive period.

Labor has denounced the delay in parliamentary progress on the Online Safety Bill, saying it is letting fraudsters and criminals off the hook.

The bill has been plagued by repeated delays and amendments. He was supposed to complete his common stages in July. However, the government withdrew it at the last minute to hold a vote of confidence in Boris Johnson instead.

The bill has since been put on hold while ministers rewrite parts of it, as Tory MPs argued it would unfairly stifle free speech online.

The legislation aims to strengthen the protection of children from harmful online content and to restrict content promoting self-harm and hate speech online.

The current parliamentary session, which was due to end in May, is being extended to allow the government to pass major legislation, such as the Online Safety Bill.

MP Alex Davies-Jones, the shadow digital minister, said the government was letting fraudsters and criminals go, while victims were being left behind.

She added: “Although it is the biggest crime in the UK, the Conservative government does not take fraud seriously. Families already struggling to make ends meet are at risk of online fraud and cybercrime this Christmas.

“Thanks to Labour, the Online Safety Bill will strengthen protections against online scammers, but the whole bill is now at risk as ministers pander to vested interests rather than defend consumers.”

The government remains committed to tackling fraud and economic crime, a spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

The DCMS said £400million would be spent over the next three years to bolster the law enforcement response, and claimed more than 2.7million online scams had been taken down in the past the last year.

The spokesperson added: “Our Online Safety Bill, which the government has pledged to pass, will also force big tech companies to tackle a wide range of online fraud, including romance scams. and fraudulent advertisements, to ensure that the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.

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