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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

Eastern European energy security: what is the Russian factor?

By JOSEPH CANTU, with PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – Recently, Eastern European reliance on Russian natural gas has dominated security discussions as a way Russia could extend its influence into the EU. While US liquid natural gas (LNG) imports pour into the new Polish LNG terminal at Świnoujście, the US Senate in June threatened to impose sanctions against the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline expansion, which would transit Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to German consumers. Many German politicians denounced the proposed sanctions, which have yet to be approved by the US House of Representatives. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has also criticised Nord Stream II, saying it does not serve “the best European interest”. Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission for energy policy, agreed. Nord Stream II has the “potential to have a negative effect on Central and Eastern Europe… and it could have a devastating effect on Ukraine.” Getting a clear picture of the issue is not easy, given...

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Can private-sector trust hackers who trade black for white hat?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The WannaCry ransomware attacks in May 2017 disabled hundreds of thousands of computers across more than 150 countries, even hitting hospitals in the United Kingdom. But the attack would have been far worse had a single 22-year-old cybersecurity researcher not crippled the unfolding attack by registering a domain name, an act that proved to be a ‘kill switch’ for the spreading malware. The expert did not understand what he was doing when he did it, but his expertise stopped the attacks far more quickly than institutional forces such as the police ever could. But what about...

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EU charts course for more cooperation in online counterterrorism

By MAX METZNER and OKSANA TRIFONOVA, with BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm attacks in May raises two fundamental questions regarding the safety of classified information. How do policymakers ensure international cyber-safety in the technological era, and what steps should be taken to deter and prevent cyberattacks before the damage is done? During a recent talk in Brussels on the EU’s Security Union, a senior European Commission official laid out the priorities and next steps. “Three critical factors need to be emphasized when dealing with cyber security, especially as it relates to fighting terrorism transparency, traceability, and accountability,” said the official. “On counterterrorism, we are working around two fronts. The first is to...

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Handle with care: do not let cyber criminals get in the way of the need for digitalisation and innovation

Euro-View: Rasmus Theede on information security BRUSSELS – When I joined my first corporate IT-security department two decades ago (at that time called Electronic Data Processing Safety Department), I was presented with a memo between the department and the CEO. The memo highlighted the rather new phenomenon called the “Internet”, suggesting that we should indeed investigate the business possibilities further …

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (19/07/2017)

1. Multiple framework contract for services related to evaluation and impact assessment of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection activities The framework contract will cover all kinds of evaluation-related studies (prospective, retrospective, real-time, ‘ex ante’ (prospective) impact assessments, or any combination of them), referring to ECHO’s activities, including the development of related methodological tools. The contractors will be …

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (19/07/2017)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: InvizBox Go 4G – Security and Privacy, Everywhere The annual cost of cybercrime is estimated to reach nearly EUR 3 trillion by 2019 and the value of the cyber security market will hit EUR 100 billion. Across the EU, 68 percent of Internet users say they are concerned about identity theft. InvizBox Go 4G provides an innovative …

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (19/07/2017)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: Frontex ‘Industry Day’ on Maritime Analysis Tools 7 September 2017, Madrid, Spain 4th Annual Conference on Big Data Analytics and Data Mining 7-8 September 2017, Paris, France Fifth Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector 19 September 2017, Thessaloniki, …

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On crime, European Investigation Order promises progress, while also posing problems

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – As criminals and terrorists refine and expand their transnational networks, European police operations have remained frustratingly national, particularly for obtaining evidence regarding cross-border investigations. Even in terrorism cases, police cooperation between European member states can be fraught with jurisdictional issues, legal differences and communication problems. To streamline the transfer of evidence from one EU nation to another, the EU created the European Investigation Order (EIO) in 2014. Its purpose: to simplify and standardise cooperation between judicial authorities, speed up investigations and thus help prevent crimes and terrorist attacks before they happen. The directive officially entered force on 22 May 2017 and the European Commission is now evaluating how the member states have transposed the EIO into national law. So far, the verdict is...

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First EU-NATO assessment reports progress on all fronts across their cooperation areas, but behind the rhetoric lies another story

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – EU and NATO completed their first joint report on 14 June (which EU foreign ministers reviewed on 19 June) regarding the two sides’ progress on implementing the 42 proposals they endorsed in Warsaw a year ago. These range from cyber-defence cooperation and counter-hybrid warfare to joint exercises, coordination of defence capability development goals, cross-operational support and other measures to boost Europe’s overall security. Their publicly released report is short – only four pages – and contains no details about progress on the individual proposals. Instead it proffers glowing statements about their accomplishments so far. "We are convinced that in the space of a few months we have achieved tangible results in the implementation of all proposals,” it states. That might apply to certain areas such as joint tabletop exercises or operational cooperation in the Mediterranean. But in other crucial ones, progress is snaking along at best and – as sources from both sides have told SECURITY EUROPE – will probably take years to effect real change, particularly for any...

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As drone use in Europe soars, EU regulations taxi to the runway

By JOSEPH CANTU, with PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – On 13-14 June, practitioners and policymakers gathered at the “Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems” (RPAS) Conference here to discuss the state-of-play for drone legislation and industry development across the European Union (EU). Among the first speakers – on the subject of legislation – were Koen de Vos and Antonio Marchetto. De Vos, drone policy officer at European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), explained the challenges of creating the beginnings of a EU-wide drone regulatory framework by 2019, while Marchetto, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) RPAS expert, focused on his organisation’s recent “Notice of Proposed Amendment” (NPA) to the EU’s air safety regulation. By 2020, De Vos explained, the EU drone market will be...

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