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Towards a general policy on the fight against cyber crime

The objective of this communication is to draw up a general policy for improving the coordination of the fight against cyber crime at European and international levels. It sets out a package of measures to address this phenomenon and to improve cooperation between the various operators at European Union (EU) level, such as improved law enforcement cooperation, better coordination between Member States, political and legal cooperation with third countries, a reinforced dialogue with industry, awareness-raising, training and research.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions of 22 May 2007 – Towards a general policy on the fight against cyber crime [COM(2007) 267 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

In this communication, the Commission presents an initiative to promote a general policy to fight all forms of cyber crime*. Given the limited powers of the Commission in the field of criminal law, this policy is designed purely to supplement the national measures. The Commission states that the most important actions will also be supported through the programme "Prevention of and Fight against Crime".

The Commission advocates:

  • establishing operational cooperation between the national law enforcement authorities. This action will begin with a meeting of experts in 2007 and could lead to setting up a central European Union (EU) cyber crime contact point;
  • increasing financial support to initiatives to provide training of law enforcement authorities concerning the handling of cyber crime cases;
  • assisting the public authorities to take more effective measures against this phenomenon and to allocate sufficient resources for this purpose;
  • supporting research in the field of the fight against cyber crime;
  • convening a conference in 2007 with law enforcement authorities and the private sector to promote closer cooperation;
  • launching public-private sector actions aimed at raising public awareness of the cost of and dangers posed by cyber crime;
  • working towards international cooperation in the fight against this phenomenon;
  • taking action to encourage all Member States and relevant third countries to ratify the Council of Europe's Cyber Crime Convention;
  • taking action in partnership with the Member States to prevent and fight coordinated and large-scale attacks against the national information infrastructure.

The fight against traditional crime in electronic networks consists of:

  • conducting an in-depth examination with a view to introducing draft specific EU legislation against identity theft;
  • improving the techniques to fight fraud and illegal trade on the Internet;
  • boosting the actions taken in certain sectors, such as those against fraud with non-cash means of payment in electronic networks.

The objective of the Commission initiative concerning illegal content consists in:

  • continuing to develop actions against specific illegal content, such as incitement to terrorism or child sexual abuse material;
  • encouraging Member States to allocate sufficient financial resources to enable the law enforcement authorities to carry out certain missions, especially concerning the identification of victims of sexual abuse from online images;
  • promoting actions against illegal content that might incite minors to violent behaviour;
  • improving dialogue between Member States and with third countries on technical methods to fight illegal content and on procedures to shut down illegal Internet sites;
  • concluding EU-level agreements between public authorities and the private sector, especially Internet service providers, regarding procedures to block and close down illegal websites.

Background

This communication sets out a package of measures to fight cyber crime and to improve cooperation between the various operators at EU level (public authorities, law enforcement authorities, private sector). The Commission states that it will assess progress on the implementation of the actions advocated and report to the Council and Parliament.

Key terms used in the act
  • cyber crime: this term is applied to three categories of criminal activities. The first covers traditional forms of crime. The second concerns the publication of illegal content over electronic media. The third includes crimes unique to electronic networks, i.e. attacks against information systems, denial of service and hacking.
Last updated: 12.07.2007
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