Friday

9th Dec 2016

EU seeks US help to fight cyber criminals

  • Lute: 'Homeland security is to create a safe, secure, resilient place where the American way of life can thrive' (Photo: chiara marra)

The EU wants to work closer with the United States' department of Homeland Security and the FBI to help plug gaps on protection against cyber crime - a sector worth €388 billion a year in illegal revenue worldwide.

"To overcome this growing global threat, EU-US cooperation is not a choice, but a necessity," EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told US officials and policy experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday (2 May).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I am convinced that in the coming months and years we will be able to report back to our citizens on many more successful joint operations between FBI and Europol," she added, citing an EU-US working group, launched in November 2010, on cyber-security and cyber crime as an example.

The working group is headed by Malmstrom and includes the US secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano. Both intend to launch an EU-US cyber exercise in 2014.

The commission had already announced its intention to establish a new cyber crime centre in Europol, in The Hague, early next year. The centre will be tasked to address online child exploitation and attacks against government infrastructure. But Malmstrom added that the cyber centre would also help member states lagging in cyber security to improve abilities.

She added, separately, that Interpol is in the planning stages of creating its own cyber crime facility in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the commission is updating its 2010 directive on attacks against information systems. The proposals seek to criminalise the use, production and sale of tools - also know as botnets - used to commit attacks against information systems. The European Parliament and member states are currently debating the proposals.

"We hope to agree on a proposal before the summer to bring EU legislation up to date, including measures to address the rising threat from botnets," Malmstrom said.

The EU is pressing countries to ratify the Council of Europe's Budapest Convention, she explained. The convention is a 2004 international treaty that aims to create a common criminal policy against cyber-villains. But the Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Sweden have yet to sign up.

The Budapest convention, along with input from foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, is to help shape an EU joint-strategy on cyber crime by the end of year. The strategy requires an EU approach and cannot rely solely on individual member states, the commission said in April.

Speaking alongside Malmstrom, the deputy secretary of the US department of homeland security Jane Holl Lute described the EU as its most important partner on cyber crime.

Lute said the US strategy for cyber security entails protecting its economy, its networks, expanding its law enforcement capacity and getting governments involved in so-called global Internet governance.

"Cyberspace is the endoskeleton of modern life," said Lute, who sees the role of homeland security as a balance between those who want no government involvement in the Internet and those who want the government to enforce strict legislation.

"Homeland security is to create a safe, secure, resilient place where the American way of life can thrive," she added.

News in Brief

  1. Italian opposition presses for anti-euro referendum
  2. Danish MP wants warning shots fired to deter migrants
  3. Defected Turkish officers to remain in Greece
  4. Most child asylum seekers are adults, says Denmark
  5. No school for children of 'illegal' migrants, says Le Pen
  6. Ombudsman slams EU Commission on tobacco lobbying
  7. McDonald's moves fiscal HQ to UK following tax probe
  8. French ex-minister jailed for tax fraud

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHow to use Bioenergy Coming from Forests in a Sustainable Way ?
  2. Counter BalanceReport Reveals Corrupt but Legal Practices in Development Finance
  3. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  4. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  5. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  6. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  7. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  9. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  10. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  11. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  12. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First