Like the U.S., EU faces a mix of domestic and foreign threats

In the wake of the Obama administration's cybersecurity white paper, the EU has published a similar white paper dubbed "An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace".  The EU just opened a new "Cybersecurity Centre", which in many ways is the EU's peer agency to the U.S. Cyber Command, a U.S. Department of Defense agency tasked with cyberwarfare activities.

Among the key pillars of the plan are to set up a cybercrime center (presumably within the broader cybersecurity center).  The feasibility of such a cybercrime unit would first be evaluated before making a formal commitment.  While the vast majority support policing the internet to fight child predators, the idea of such a center may make some people a bit nervous given its piracy implications.

The EU has been a battleground for a fierce debate regarding piracy policing.  The "Pirate Party", a party advocating copyright reform has gained seats in the European Parliament.  However, that push has been met with a firm rebuttal from big media, who has fought for stricter punishments.

Recent studies show that despite the success of the Pirate Party, that Europeans in some member states -- such as Germany -- more widely support punishment for file sharers than their American counterparts.

Other pillars include encouraging member states to offer up resources for interstate emergency responses and national alerts regarding serious attacks.

EU flags
The EU is looking to beef up interstate cybersecurity efforts. [Image Source: AFP]
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, commented on the plan, "For cyberspace to remain open and free, the same norms, principles and values that the EU upholds offline, should also apply online. Fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law need to be protected in cyberspace. The EU works with its international partners as well as civil society and the private sector to promote these rights globally."

Past studies have shown that critical infrastructure in EU member states -- like the UK -- is weakly defended.

Sources: EU [via Europa PR] [1], [2]

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