ENDItorial: EC Internal Security Strategy – My dog is a cat

By EDRi · December 1, 2010

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Deutsch: [ENDitorial: EU-Strategie der Inneren Sicherheit – Mein Hund ist eine Katze | http://www.unwatched.org/node/2399]

The European Commission (EC) recently published its “Internal Security
Strategy” – a wide-ranging security programme covering international crime
networks, radicalisation, cybersecurity, border management and
crisis/disaster management.

One almost amusing element is how it included “piracy” (meaning unauthorised
downloads) as a security issue. The logic is very reminiscent of the 1980s
British comedy “Yes Prime Minister” where a senior civil servant explains to
a colleague how to argue to stop power being put in the hands of citizens.
“All cats have four legs, so does my dog. So my dog is a cat”.
Counterfeiting is sometimes carried out by criminal gangs, who are a
security threat. Counterfeiting is an intellectual property infringement.
“Piracy” is an intellectual property infringement, so “piracy” is a security

Meanwhile, some elements that are missing are also interesting. For example,
the Strategy argues that “security should be integrated in relevant
strategic partnerships” but, having accused major trading partners like the
USA of failing to take action against online child abuse and international
trade in abuse images, the strategy prioritises “trafficking in human
beings, drugs trafficking and terrorism” for this action. Indeed, while the
strategy covers, in the Commission’s own words “seemingly petty crimes”, the
child abuse that was such a priority when tackling the symptoms via
blocking, fails to get a single mention in the document.

With regard to cybercrime, the Strategy suggests the creation of a
“cybercrime centre” to build operational and technical capacity, working
with national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and the European
Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). The proposal to have a
centralized hub for reporting of all forms of illegal material (useful for
creating multiple blocking lists for Internet access providers), which was
first made under the French Presidency of the EU, is made again. However,
this still does not have adequate political support, so the Strategy says
that this will be introduced “if appropriate”.

Even though no progress has been made on the Commission’s proposals for an
industry agreement for extra-judicial deletion of websites accused of child
abuse, xenophobia or terrorism since the summer, the Strategy suggests that
this will be achieved by 2011. The Commission has organised a meeting on 15
December 2010 with the industry to push its draft agreement, with a separate
informal meeting the week before to discuss “outstanding issues”.

Communication: The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps
towards a more secure Europe (22.11.2010)

Draft Agreement on Notice and Takedown

Joint EDRI/EuroISPA response to Commission proposal (9.07.2010)

Yes Minister

EDRI-gram: EDRi and EuroISPA attack EC’s demands for notice and takedown

(contribution by Joe McNamee – EDRi)