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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

Understanding suicide attacks and what this means for counter-terrorism officials

The year 2016 has been a volatile one for combating terrorism around the globe. In January alone there were at least 24 documented suicide bombings in nine different countries causing more than 404 casualties and at least 630 wounded. February saw a slight downturn with 18 documented suicide bombings, again nine countries, leading to over 169 casualties and some 670 wounded. Many take place in Islamic State (ISIS) held territory and West Africa, though attacks have been a constant threat to countries such as Turkey and Afghanistan.European counter-terrorism officials must reorient their strategy and tactics to address the rise in suicide terrorism taking place across the globe.Although modern suicide terrorism first appeared in the 1980s, it has expanded in its use and intensity ever since. The root causes of suicide bombings are...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (17/03/2016)

H2020 Security Research calls
1. Study investigating cost efficient measures for reducing the risk from fires on ro-ro passenger ships (FIRESAFE) EMSA intends to conclude a Service Contract for the provision of a study in two parts, investigating risk control options (RCOs) for mitigating the risk from fires on ro-ro decks in relation to electrical fire as ignition risk and fire extinguishing failure. The study will encompass both new-buildings and existing passenger ships. Information from other research projects will be used for further analysis while strictly avoiding duplication of the work.At the finalisation of the two parts of the study, a coherence check shall be carried out in order for EMSA to assess whether there is an overlap in the impact of the suggested RCOs.The maximum budget available for this contract is EUR 150.000 excluding VATDeadline: 05 April 2016 Contact: European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Call documentation and application forms can be found here

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (17/03/2016)

PROTECT-2 – PeRsonnel lOcation and Tracking for safEty of Critical InfrasTructures A key enabling element to boost the prevention, preparedness and consequence management for critical infrastructures (CI), including urban soft targets, comes from the capability of pinpointing the location of the personnel responsible for CI protection (CIP)The impossibility of locating and tracking operators in scenarios where a GPS signal is absent (e.g. hostile jamming, indoor environments) leads to a severe lack of situational awareness, thus degrading the prevention, preparedness and post-crisis recovery capabilities.Nearly all current location systems (targeting the mass-market of location based services) are heavily dependent on the infrastructures themselves to be deployed and maintained: an approach hardly coping with CIP requirements.DUNE S.R.L. plans to introduce a new personal, autonomous, infrastructure-free, wearable and scalable localisation and tracking system for use in GPS-denied environments, with a modular structure capable of fulfilling a widespread ensemble of requirements, typical of various CIP applications.Start date: 2016-03-01 End date: 2016-08-31 Total cost: EUR 71.429 EU contribution: EUR 50.000 Project coordinator: DUNE S.R.L., Italy

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RPAS industry forges ahead with operator awareness tools while awaiting harmonised rules and regulations at EU level

By CHRIS DALBYBRUSSELS – How to keep Europe’s burgeoning drone sector abreast of the aviation do’s and don’ts as EU and national regulatory authorities tackle the EU’s December 2015 aviation strategy – a process that will take at least two years to implement? The operators of drones – or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) as they are formally known – need guidance today on how to avoid the devices’ illegal or dangerous across the 28 EU nations. But systematically referenced information has been lacking. That gap is now being addressed by mobile applications and internet sites via a number of research projects and companies, as explained during the latest iteration of...

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Leading drone manufacturer says geo-fencing is the right safety and security “holding pattern” until EU legislation falls into place

By TERI SCHULTZBRUSSELS — After the RPAS CivOps 2016 Conference here in January, SECURITY EUROPE’s Teri Schultz caught up with Jon Resnick, head of policy at the Washington office of DJI, the Chinese maker of the popular Phantom drone, which leads the market. Resnick argues for a “drone eco-system” for Europe and the integration of operational security and personal rights. (See related story on emerging websites for drone procedures)TS: After some scares with unidentifiable drones flying over sensitive sites, there’s a lot of talk in Europe about how drones can be identified in-flight and operators held accountable. How do you do that? JR: In the US we have registration for drones and, since 1 January it’s not voluntary and the deadline is 19 February. If you buy a new drone in the US and it weighs...

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As Europe flails about for an answer to its migrant crisis, those dealing with the arrivals must find the right settlement solutions

By JOSEPH SCHAPER, HALEY SMITH and BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decreed that refugees and migrants residing in her nation will be returned after the hostilities in the Middle East subside – a view increasingly echoed elsewhere across Europe’s national capitals. But, in the meantime, what to do with the teeming waves of migrants pouring into the region? More to the point: how much time will pass before “short-term” refugee resettlement and employment issues turn into necessary, long-term investment in education, training and integration – and how to execute that? This was the crux of debate here on 2 February – “Integration of refugees: How do cities and institutions respond?” – which brought together European migration policy experts, city authorities, employment agencies and trade unions. The group agreed that Europe’s mass migration crisis cannot be solved simply by tightening Schengen borders, but it split deeply over...

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EU-funded project with substantial timeline and budget grapples to frame societal security & keep stakeholders informed about it

By BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – Getting a grip on “societal security” in Europe – what it means, how to achieve it and, above all, how to coordinate it across all the heterogeneous stakeholders involved – is one of the most vexing aspects to the EU’s security research programme. A concept that was more of a side-issue tacked onto the Commission’s first 2007-2013 security R&D programme under FP7, societal security has since become a full-blown policy imperative that cuts across many of the research themes in the EU’s current 2014-2020 Horizon 2020 research budget. But that hasn’t made it any easier for researchers to nail down the concept with precise and concrete guidelines, though there are no shortage of EU-funded projects assigned to do this. One of the bigger projects trying to “wrap its head” around the concept is...

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Despite US changes to data handling, Europeans still lack a key right

By TERI SCHULTZ, with BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS — While few dispute that the United States has made significant positive changes to its laws governing data collection and transfer, many Europeans still don’t feel the protections are sufficient. US officials are keenly aware of the problem. Defending his government’s policy, Alexander Joel admits the process has been “a very difficult task” to work with the US intelligence community’s agencies on their policies and procedures to ensure they include “enough protection for privacy and civil liberties [and] to figure out how they can be more transparent and provide more public information while preserving the secrecy that is essential.” Responsible for civil liberties protection and transparency within the office of the US Director of National Intelligence, Joel laid out Washington’s reforms during a panel on public security while protecting individual privacy at the annual Computers, Privacy, & Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels on January 29. There’s obvious tension between those objectives. Joel said the threat environment in the US of the last few years has made intelligence agencies...

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Experts split over future effectiveness of EU’s data protection law

By CHRIS DALBY, with BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – The EU’s General Data Protection Reform (GDPR), politically adopted in December 2015, isn’t a perfect document but it does blanket all of the EU member states. As Bruno Gencarelli, head of data protection unit within the Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, put it to the “Computers, Privacy and Data Protection” conference here on 27-29 January, many of the GDPR’s compromises may not have been based on common denominators, but they were grounded in hard facts. “And now that the house is in order and we have our own rules, the global approach is increasingly important,” he said. Yet lingering issues remain. Conference speaker Michał Boni, member of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE), said the EU must guard against 28 different interpretations of the GDPR, for example. More specifically, he pointed to two important issues that require attention. One is that regulation must...

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