Internet and cybercrime

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material about the Internet and cybercrime. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

02.06.2016Investigatory Powers Bill: Committee Stage Report
The Investigatory Powers Bill was introduced on 1 March 2016 and received its second reading on 15 March.There were sixteen sittings of the Public Bill Committee, including two evidence sessions. The Bill is due to have its report stage on 6 June 2016.
11.03.2016Investigatory Powers Bill
The Investigatory Powers Bill would overhaul the framework governing the use of surveillance by the intelligence and security agencies and law enforcement to obtain the content of communications and communications data. It follows three important reports published in 2015, all of which concluded that the law in this area is unfit for purpose and in need of reform, and a draft Bill that has been subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny by three parliamentary committees.
11.01.2016Fixed Broadband: Policy, Coverage and Speeds
This note sets out the current situation with regard to broadband access and coverage and provides an overview of the Government's broadband policy for the UK. It focuses on the delivery of broadband targets and funding in England. The devolved administrations have their own delivery programmes.
07.12.2015Constituency Casework: Identity Theft
This briefing paper provides information to assist Members of Parliament and their staff in dealing with enquiries from constituents on identity theft and identity fraud. It includes sources of advice on: the signs that identity theft may have occurred, the steps to take in the event of identity theft/fraud, and how to reduce the risk of identity theft.
19.11.2015Draft Investigatory Powers Bill
The Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, published in November 2015, seeks to update and consolidate the legal framework governing the interception of communications and the acquisition of communications data by intelligence and law enforcement agencies
18.05.2015Regulating the web: The open internet and net neutrality
Net neutrality is the concept that all information and services should have equal and open access online without regard to content, destination or source. Both net neutrality-and the associated concept of the 'open internet'-are considered to be founding principles of the World Wide Web. Concerns that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are looking to circumvent net neutrality principles-deciding how fast data will be transmitted and at what quality-have led to campaigns to explicitly legislate for net neutrality. Without net neutrality campaigners fear a two-tiered service with fast and slow lanes could develop. In the past few years, the EU and other countries have attempted to explicitly legislate to ensure Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operate in a net neutral fashion.
27.11.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - Lords Amendments
This paper is designed to provide background information for Consideration of Lords Amendments of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which is due to take place on 1 December 2014
21.11.2014Online safety: Content filtering by UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
This a research paper summarising government policy on the introduction of internet filters iby UK Internet Service Providers
16.09.2014The "right to be forgotten"
In May 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that a user had the right to have links to web pages about him removed from Google's search results because the passage of time had made them 'irrelevant'. This Note examines what the judgment means for search engines, for individuals and for the UK.
01.07.2013Digital Economy Act 2010: Copyright
The Digital Economy Act 2010 received Royal Assent at the very end of the last Parliament. Sections 3 to 18 of the Act cover online infringement of copyright. Several provisions have proved controversial and have not yet been implemented.

Lords Library Notes

27.11.2015United Kingdom's Role in Supporting International Security and Stability
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 3 December 2015: "that this House takes note of the United Kingdom's role in supporting international security and stability in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review".
03.07.2015Reports into Investigatory Powers
This Note provides a summary of the recommendations of recent reports, including the report of David Anderson QC, and supporting material on the use of investigatory powers.
10.11.2014Impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children's and Young People's Online and Digital Interactions
On 20 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on children's and young people's online and digital interactions'
24.05.2012Crime and Courts Bill (HL Bill 4 of 2012-13)
The Crime and Courts Bill would establish a new National Crime Agency to combat organised crime, and contains provisions for reforms of the courts system (including judicial appointments and to allow broadcasting of certain court proceedings) as well as provisions on immigration, drug driving and community sentencing. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.


24.05.2016Financial Technology (FinTech)
Financial Technology (FinTech) describes the application of digital technology to financial services. This POSTnote reviews how and why FinTech is being used, and the benefits and challenges it presents to the UK.
09.03.2016Digital Forensics and Crime
Digital forensic science is the process of obtaining, analysing and using digital evidence in investigations or criminal proceedings. Digital evidence ranges from images of child sexual exploitation to the location of a mobile phone. This note looks at the use of digital forensics by UK law enforcement agencies. It covers how evidence is obtained, the legislation and regulation in this area, and the efforts being made to address the challenges faced by practitioners.
19.10.2015Trends in ICT
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
30.09.2015Forensic Language Analysis
This note examines forensic language analysis, the scientific validity of procedures and their applications, and explores the issues surrounding their use.
29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
09.03.2015The darknet and online anonymity
A very small proportion of websites use sophisticated anonymity systems, which allow their operators to conceal their identity if they wish to. This part of the web is commonly referred to as the darknet. The darknet helps citizens to protect their security and privacy and to circumvent censorship. It also facilitate organised crime, such as the billion dollar drug market known as Silk Road. This POSTnote discusses the challenge of preventing such crimes without compromising the other uses of anonymity technologies.

Select Committee Reports

09.03.2010Protecting Europe against large-scale cyber-attacks.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
26.01.2010Legislative scrutiny: Digital Economy Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
12.01.2010Legislative scrutiny: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill; Video Recordings Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House applauds the way that children, parents and grandparents were welcomed to Parliament for Safer Internet Day 2012, organised for the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, ...
That this House is concerned at reports in the Wall Street Journal that Google may now be combining nearly all the information it has on its users, which could make it harder for them ...
That this House notes that it is important to keep up with modern communication techniques; further notes that hon. Members are now allowed to tweet from the Chamber; believes that ...
14.11.2011CYBER CRIME
That this House notes that despite overwhelming numbers of UK businesses being affected by cyber crime, 40 per cent. of cyber crimes committed against businesses currently go unreported; ...
That this House notes that Schillings acting for Amy Lynn Lee Hartzler, the lead singer of the band Evanescence, and her manager Andrew Lurie of 110 Management threatened Sam Smith ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses