The Internet is a remarkable phenomenon that dramatically has changed and simplified our lives. In addition, it can be a powerful tool in the service of democracy. Just think about the role of the web and various social media during the Arab spring. We need to stand up for a free, open and safe Internet, everywhere. Unfortunately, the amount of cyber incidents increases every day, estimations are indicating that at least one million people become victims of cybercrimes daily. This obviously influences the reliance of the Internet and constrains us in our digital lives. At the same time it is devastating for the economy.
In Europe, we need to better coordinate the fight against these IT-criminals and improve the protection of our daily lives and our freedom on the Internet. The society today is highly computerised and therefore very vulnerable, and we are not sufficiently prepared to protect ourselves against major IT-attacks. We need to protect our critical infrastructures against these cyber-attacks, and defend the internet freedom, even in countries outside of the European Union. Together with my colleagues, Catherine Ashton and Neelie Kroes, I presented today the EU cybersecurity strategy.
In the strategy we are underlining, among other things, the significance of ensuring the establishment of a national police unit against cybercrime in each EU Member State. Together with the EC3, the new European cybercrime centre at Europol, which coordinates European police in the fight against criminals on the Internet, we would be able to better solve crimes and improve the fight against organised criminality.
It is crucial to take a holistic approach on this question. The EU has already taken the initiative to improve the security on the Internet – the cybercrime directive and the Global Alliance against persons who are sexually abusing children and disseminating films on-line, are two examples. Today, we present the complete vision and the common overall action plan. We need improved legislation, more resources and better coordination of the activities. We need to strengthen and modernise both authorities’ and private actors’ preparedness, the preventive work, and we need to get an overview of the security threat by sharing information.
Cybercrime is a cross-border issue and it is obvious that separate countries are not capable of fighting this threat on their own. The EU is a good venue, but we also need an international and global cooperation.
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