The Serious Organised Crime Agency has now officially come into force and has an official website www.soca.gov.uk
They have also published their SOCA Annual Plan 2006/07 (.pdf)
This lays out the top priorities (Class A drugs and human trafficking), the top level structure and the governance of the new organisation
However, there is now no mention of the word "computer" or even of the National High Tech Crime Unit, which was part of the National Crime Squad which has been subsumed into SOCA either on the SOCA website or in their Plan.
The www.nhtcu.org website now displays a SOCA logo and says:
The National Hi Tech Crime Unit has now become part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. As a result the NHTCU is no longer providing individual responses to enquiries either via this web site or direct email contacts.
It is bad enough that the Home Office has refused to properly consult on and publish an internet aware replacement for the obsolete Computer Misuse Act 1990, and to just rely on unworkable amendments via the Police and Justice Bill,
(see Liberty Central influences the "computer hacking tools" amendment in the the Police and Justice Bill)
This withdrawal of any public point of contact for businesses or individuals to be able to talk to someone who understands the IT technical issues signals that Computer Crime is no longer a priority for UK law enforcement.
Even the NHCTU Confidentiality Charter (.pdf) which tried to assure businesses that they will not be uncessarily disrupted by the seizure of all their production and business critical computer systems if a police investigation of part of them is required, and the advice on how to foresnically preserve computer evidence without ruining the judical chain of custody and therefore legal admissability in court, have been censored from public view.
What is the NuLabour government playing at ?
The old National Criminal Intelligence Service website www.ncis.gov.uk is still online for now.
As with the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 website, the SOCA website is not as good as the Security Service MI5 one, since there is no online feeback form protected with SSL/TLS encryption, nor indeed any non-English language versions.
Contact details for the Serious Organised Crime Agency:
The postal address for SOCA is:
Serious Organised Crime Agency
PO Box 8000
Media enquiries only to telephone number 0870 268 8100 Office hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Note the lack of any general enquiry email contact address, or public phone number except for firstname.lastname@example.org
For a supposedly modern intelligence agency, SOCA is making itself unecessarily hard to contact by potential informers or intelligence assets or by potential staff recruits.
By way of contrast the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the USA, with which SOCA has been compared, has contact details in every phone book and on their multiple websites.