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12.06.2012
News

IT Security

Confusion in EP over internet security and infrastructure

Intellectual property rights infringements are not related to network stability and internet security issues. While the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted in favour of a report from MEP Ivailo Kalfin (S&D, Bulgaria), aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of vital information and communication infrastructure EU-wide, the Greens/EFA group voted against. The debate originally concerned the resilience of information infrastructure, but during the parliamentary proceedings it became increasingly focused on law enforcement. Among other things, it wrongly refers to crimes such as intellectual property rights infringement and other online crimes.

Critical information infrastructure protection could and should, just like its predecessors in the transport and energy fields, focus on ensuring the resilience of our physical infrastructure. The information society is carried on fibre-optic cables, base stations, switches, routers and other hardware that can fall prey to accidents (bad weather, fires) or sabotage. Indeed, damage incurred by spamming, intellectual property rights infringements or unauthorised access to computer systems simply are not related to infrastructural issues and would be more logically dealt with inside other specifically targeted legal frameworks.

In the Internal Security Strategy adopted during the last plenary session in May, the group was backed by the entire Parliament when it called for the security strategies and talks to be detached from the discussion on unlawful activities online.

To ensure that the continued debate on network resilience and robustness in the EU stays on the topic of robust and resilient infrastructure the Greens/EFA group rejected the Kalfin report, which unfortunately does not make clear distinctions between these different topics.