Cybersecurity: what responses to new threats?

internet monitoring

To monitor cybercommunications and fight against cybercrime, States have set up surveillance systems dedicated to the Internet. Inter-state monitoring bodies exist, such as the Echelon network. Jointly operated by the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand, Echelon is the largest telecommunications surveillance network and cybercommunications to the world. However, such tools are a double-edged sword since they can be used for espionage (economic, military) or population control purposes.

Collaboration with Internet giants

To exercise their authority over cyberspace, States must rely on the cooperation of Internet giants. In addition to having technical and financial resources superior to many States, the latter have the power to conceal or, on the contrary, to make public the information circulating via their services.

A difficult international response

Faced with the international nature of the cyber threat, States were quick to foresee the need for a common international response. But this comes up against the slowness of national cooperation procedures, as well as the reluctance of States to share certain information. The shortcomings of international cooperation in cybersecurity have thus come to light with the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in recent years. In response to these attacks, the various governments have pledged to cooperate more.

Towards an international cybersecurity law?

Despite repeated calls from many politicians, there is still no binding international law on cybersecurity. Indeed, there are fundamental differences in how states approach their cybersecurity.

The European exception

In 2001, the Council of Europe initiated the first treaty of international cooperation on cybersecurity. Known as Budapest Conventionthis treaty was signed by the member states of the Council of Europe, even if not all subsequently ratified it.

Within Europol, the European Union (EU) inaugurated, in 2013, the European Cybercrime Centeraimed at facilitating cooperation between European states in the fight against cybercrime.

In September 2017, the European Commission proposed the “cybersecurity packagewhich includes a set of measures including the introduction of an EU-wide cybersecurity certification. Then, in June 2019, the EU Cybersecurity Regulation entered into force. at the same time allowed to introduce a certification scheme at EU level while reinforcing the new mandate of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity. Furthermore, in December 2020the European Commission and the European External Action Service presented a new EU cybersecurity strategy with the aim of strengthening Europe’s resilience to cyber threats. Having adopted, in March 2021them conclusions of this cybersecurity strategythe Board also recalled that cybersecurity remains key to building a digital Europe. This is also why the EU is still studying two legislative proposals concerning current and future risks (online and offline) notably through a guideline designed to better protect networks and information systems.

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Cybersecurity: what responses to new threats?

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