I have already speculated that:

“David Cameron personally has been convinced that the comprehensive spending review must ensure that substantial extra resources are spent on developing the UK’s capacity to counter cyber threats to its infrastructure and that the debate between the Treasury and the Cabinet Office is whether the new investment should be £1.5 billion or £2 billion.”

Now The Register reports:

“An awkwardly-worded reply by Defence Secretary Liam Fox to questions in the House of Commons suggests that cuts in information security spending are not on the agenda for the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which is due to report back in the Autumn. On the contrary, Britain is looking to boost its capabilities in the area.

Cyber-security is an important element of the SDSR and has already had considerable consideration. Decisions on enhancing our capabilities will form part of the review, which we will announce to the House later this autumn.

Developing a military cyber-security policy should not be the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence alone, Fox added.

Investing in better cyber-security will not be an option for the United Kingdom. What is being considered under the National Security Council as part of the SDSR is how that occurs. We will face increasing threats in cyberspace in the years ahead-the question is how we identify the weakest areas, which need to be looked at first, and how we develop the technologies so that, as the other technologies that might affect us continue to evolve, we are best protected. That will require us to look at research across the board.

The exchange, which occurred during defence questions in the House of Commons on Monday, is recorded for posterity by Hansard here.”

It is, of course, possible that Liam Fox was speaking “off-piste” or was simply “mis-speaking“.

However,  the topic was on the agenda of a recent meeting of the National Security Council – so this may be the best indication yet as to what is emerging from this aspect of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

We will know soon enough.

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