Extra money for cyber security and special forces

Posted On: 
17th November 2015

David Cameron and George Osborne have announced extra funding for Britain’s cyber defences and special forces after last week’s terror atrocity in Paris.

Investment in cyber security will double to £1.9bn over the next five years, the Chancellor will say in a speech at GCHQ.

That funding is part of a “bold, comprehensive programme” that will make sure Britain “remains at the cutting edge of the global cyber economy”, Mr Osborne will add.

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He will warn that terror groups like so-called Islamic State are trying to take control of British infrastructure remotely in order to cause casualties.

“Isil’s murderous brutality has a strong digital element. At a time when so many others are using the internet to enhance freedom and give expression to liberal values and creativity, they are using it for evil.

“Let’s be clear. Isil are already using the internet for hideous propaganda purposes; for radicalisation, for operational planning too.

“They have not been able to use it to kill people yet by attacking our infrastructure through cyber attack. They do not yet have that capability. But we know they want it, and are doing their best to build it.

“So when we talk about tackling Isil, that means tackling their cyber threat as well as the threat of their guns, bombs and knives.”

Describing the internet as a “critical axis of potential vulnerability”, Mr Osborne will say if terrorists hacked in to hospitals or air traffic control systems or electricity infrastructure “the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost”.

GCHQ will be the home of a new National Cyber Centre to bring together expertise, while an Institute for Coding will also be established.

SPECIAL FORCES

The Prime Minister used his speech to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet last night to announce an extra £2bn for the SAS and other special forces.

“We want to increase the capabilities of our special forces, he said. “So there will be a £2bn programme of new investments over this Parliament.”

Mr Cameron also said he was changing the target for British aid spending so 50% would be spent to support “broken and fragile states”.