Open and secure cyberspace part of the EU agenda

30 October 2013, Last updated at, 13:50 EEST
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author: O. Posaškova

The anniversary COSAC meeting in Vilnius covered the challenges and outlook of cyber security, and business concerns on this matter.

Rudolf Peter Roy, Head of the European External Action Service Security and Sanctions Department, noted that in recent years, information and communications technology and related activities has comprised more than 20% of GDP growth in the world's largest economies.

But the importance of the Internet goes beyond its direct economic benefits. “Cyberspace helps us to create a better future, gives access to education, promotes freedom of speech, connects people globally, and allows the provision of basic services and striving for equality,” Mr Roy said.

He added that in order to ensure a better future, people need an open and non-divided cyberspace, not controlled by any separate party; and trust, reliability, and greater capabilities in this man-made space. While giving immense benefits, the digital world is very vulnerable – the number of cyber incidents continues to rise.

“Incidents can disrupt the provision of basic services – water, electricity, and mobile,” Mr Roy explained. He mentioned that such incidents could be of various types: crimes, politically- motivated terrorism, cyber attacks, natural disasters, and accidental mistakes. Thus security had to be increased.

Mr Roy informed that the European Commission had approved a cyber security strategy. It focuses on the immediate need to strengthen the EU’s preventive efforts in the field of cyber security, how Member States could rationalize their efforts in this field, and what EU institutions and agencies could do to help. Horizontal cooperation between various European policies is also being sought – cybernetic resilience has to be strengthened, a cyberspace policy has to be implemented, and general security and defence-related issues need to be addressed. In order to better ensure the security of cyberspace, countries could create cyber security lines (similar lines are used in nuclear energy).

Talking about the cyber security strategy's external scope, the speaker indicated that one of the most important priorities for dealing with international issues of cyber security in the EU was the retention of our main values in cyberspace – first and foremost the consolidation of the principles of openness and freedom.

“We will cherish cyberspace as a space of freedom and fundamental rights. We need to ensure that everybody has access to the Internet. Having more Internet users will strengthen democracy globally. We also need to increase the awareness of Internet users, their skills, and network security, more actively promote the EU's view of the protection of privacy and data, cooperate with all participants of cyberspace, including stakeholders – companies, governments, and civil societies, and strive for a transparent, accountable, and non-divided model of the Internet,” Mr Roy said.

 

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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