Brussels, 27 November 2008
Fight against cyber crime: cyber patrols and Internet investigation teams to reinforce the EU strategy.
The Council of ministers of the European Union adopted today the Council's strategy to reinforce the fight against cyber crime. The strategy proposes a series of operational measures, such as cyber patrols, joint investigation teams and remote searches to become part of the fight against cybercrime in the next five years. The strategy also introduces concrete steps for closer cooperation and information exchange between law enforcement authorities and the private sector.
Cyber crime is a growing threat to our societies today. EU member states suffer daily thousands of attacks against their information systems. Viruses facilitating stealing information from personal computers, spam, identity theft, and child pornography are increasingly widespread. According to recent reports, images of sexually abused children available on-line quadrupled in the last five years and half of all internet crime involves the production, distribution and sale of child pornography.
The European Commission has cooperated closely with the French Presidency and the Member States in the elaboration of a series of practical measures to fight cyber crime. The new strategy recommends reinforcing partnership between the police and the private sector by better knowledge-sharing on investigation methods and trends in cyber crime. It also encourages both parties to respond quickly to information requests, resort to remote searches, cyber patrols for online tracking of criminals and joint investigations across borders. The strategy also calls for the setting up of an alert platform in the short term, where reports on crime committed on the Internet, such as posting of illegal content, in EU member states would be pooled for cross-checking by Europol. The Commission earmarked 300,000 euro for Europol to implement the platform.
Vice-President Jacques Barrot highlighted the importance of this strategy by saying "The strategy encourages the much needed operational cooperation and information exchange between the Member States. It gives a shared responsibility to the Commission, the Member States and other stakeholders to introduce the different measures. If the strategy is to make the fight against cyber crime more efficient, all stakeholders have to be fully committed to its implementation. We are ready to support them, also financially, in their efforts."
To find out more about Vice-President Jacques Barrot work please visit his website: