EU plans anti-hacking law in Internet security drive

As part of an effort to raise the level of online security in the European Union, the European Commission said Wednesday it has begun work on a computer-hacking law.

Other related measures proposed by the Commission, the European Union's executive body, include fighting computer viruses by ensuring more effective sharing of European warning and information systems, a publicity campaign to raise awareness of online security among European citizens, and helping to strengthen cooperation between national computer emergency response teams, also known as "CERTs."

Encouraging development of a common platform for encryption systems to ensure interoperability is also part of the Commission's plan, it said in a statement. National governments should lead by example, the Commission urged.

"If governments can show the way, using interoperable security solutions in e-government, this will help both individuals and businesses to take security of networks seriously," the Commission said.

"Today we are launching a debate that will result in more concrete measures being proposed towards the end of the year," said Per Haugaard, spokesman on information society issues at the Commission.

He wouldn't say what form the anti-hacking legislation will take.

The Commission wants to set up a central body to fight the spread of computer viruses, Haugaard said. "There might be a need for a central body to coordinate the work of the CERTs. This is one proposal we want to open up for comment."

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