European cybersecurity agency planned

The European Commission has proposed the creation of a network and information security agency, which will serve as an advice...

The European Commission has proposed the creation of a network and information security agency to serve as an advice centre for the 15 European Union member states.

"The risk of cybercrime is rising," said Erkki Liikanen, commissioner for the information society. Until now, viruses have largely been propagated by young individuals and amateurs, but since 11 September the risk of worse attacks has increased, he added.

Mobile Internet connections, through mobile phones in particular, are likely to be a target.

The commission has earmarked a €24.3m (£16m) budget for the European Network and Information Security Agency over a five-year period, with an additional €9m planned to include the 10 new member states, mainly from Central Europe, in May 2004. The agency will provide assistance to member states' own cybercrime authorities, in particular their computer emergency response teams.

The agency is due to start operating next January. The governments of the 15 member states will decide on a location later this year.

 

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