Europe steps up war on cybercrime

European Commission's plans to combat cybercrime include crime-specific legislation and promoting greater cross-border co-operation

Europe is stepping up the fight against cybercrime, outlining plans to create more meaningful legislation and promote greater cross-border co-operation.

The European Commission said legislation and law enforcement — especially across borders — needs to keep pace with new and evolving opportunities for criminals.

It said cybercrime comes in three forms: established crimes, such as fraud; publication of illegal content; and crimes unique to the internet, such as denial-of-service attacks and hacking.

The European Commission said laws targeting particular crimes — such as ID theft — and identifying those responsible for enforcing them will currently be more effective than general cybercrime legislation.

As part of the targeted legislation, the European Commission will consider laws for tackling ID theft later this year.

The European Commission identified several key issues that need to be considered in the fight against e-crime.

These include the increasing sophistication of criminal activity, a lack of coherent EU-level policy and legislation, and a lack of awareness among consumers. As a result, it wants to strengthen law enforcement organisations such as Europol.

Another outcome of the Europe cybercrime push could be better data collection and more readily available cybercrime statistics.


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