Brussels, 16 January 2002
The Spanish Presidency has suggested that a pan-European observatory using the latest research techniques should be instituted to provide protection in the European Union against threats emanating from the use of new information society technologies.
The Presidency has proposed, in a document sent to the EU Council of Ministers multidisciplinary group, that an observatory be established within Europol to help identify possible threats and to provide counter measures through international cooperation. The need for this comes from the absence of any EU security strategy in relation to the threats, which could come in the form of terrorism, pirating, viruses or direct attacks on essential infrastructure.
The presidency document points out that while every EU Member State has an emergency information technology response team, there is no central team for the EU (although one did exist before having its tasks handed to a private sector company).
A technological research and monitoring centre would also help to analyse the latest software and hardware which could be used in criminal activities. It would also help to increase collaboration between the Member States, the private sector and universities and research centres. It would also disseminate good practices and provide incentives for training.