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Action against large-scale cyber terrorism

Alarmed by the number and magnitude of criminal attacks perpetrated in cyberspace over the past few years, the Culture Committee adopted a report on increasing co-operation against cyber terrorism and other large-scale attacks on and through computer systems, which threaten the national security, public safety or economic well-being of a State.

“The fight against cybercrime and botnets in particular involves more than criminalisation of offences. To effectively mitigate threats, it is necessary to co-operate in exchanging and analysing infection data, encourage Internet service providers (ISPs) to inform the authorities of significant security threats, discuss the legal limits of mitigation and counter-measures and explore non-legal measures, improve the possibilities for cross-border investigation of cyber-attacks, establish an effective framework for urgent co-operation requests, and support disinfection solutions and campaigns targeting the end-user” explained the rapporteur Hans Franken (Netherlands, EPP/CD).

In his report, he puts forward a number of recommendations for improving the current legal framework on cybercrime, including by drafting additional protocols to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and suggestions for non-legal measures, including the potential of capacity building programmes and public-private partnerships.

Finally, Mr Franken pointed out that one of the key elements of any cybercrime governance strategy should be to increase the resilience of society in light of an Internet infrastructure that is inevitably vulnerable to attacks. Resilience implied not only early warning and quick response systems, but also mitigating the effects of attacks on critical infrastructures. Did we have fall-back infrastructures in the event of a temporary breakdown of the Internet to substitute smart energy grids? If the answer is no, then any regulatory strategy to deal with large-scale cyber-attacks is likely to fail.

The PACE will discuss the report at its summer session (Strasbourg, 22-26 June 2015).