3 May 2012
At an international conference in Washington D.C. Wednesday, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke to participants about the ongoing fight against cyber crime. The conference, "Transatlantic Dimensions of Cyber Security", focused on cyber issues as an essential part of national security, and the importance of joint efforts by the EU and the United States.
"EU-U.S. cooperation is not a choice, but a necessity", Malmström said.
"Alongside its cooperation with the US, the EU will have to do its homework to make cyberspace safer," Malmström said, raising the recently announced EU Cybercrime Centre (EC3) as an example of how the EU is intensifying its efforts.
Specific tasks of the cybercrime centre will be to fight organised criminal groups committing widespread online fraud, and fighting online sexual exploitation of children.
"During the past decade we have seen an unprecedented expansion in the market for child abuse images. Although we have successfully disrupted numerous child abuse networks online, we must do more to protect our children from harm," Malmström said.
As a result of cooperation between the FBI, Europol and several EU Member States, an international network of child sex offenders was dismantled earlier this year. Several arrests were made on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, 8 children between 3 and 10 years old were rescued.
The conference on 2 May was organised by the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the European Security Round Table. Other speakers included Jane Holl Lute, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Hans-Peter Friedrich, Federal Minister of the Interior of Germany.
"Let's hope that a few new good ideas will be born today. We will need them if we are to win the battle against those who attempt to disrupt our digital lives," Malmström said.