Social networks and media platforms have existed for 20 years now. Today, in the EU alone, more than one billion posts and tweets, video clips and photos are shared on these platforms every day. Many of them are informative or entertaining, some are disruptive or harmful to minors, others simply illegal and punishable by law. It is time for the European Commission’s leadership to have direct talks with high-level representatives of media platforms and social networks.
Two newly-discovered security flaws in computer processors, named Meltdown and Spectre, could allow unauthorised users to gain direct access to the heart of computer systems and steal personal data. The vulnerabilities were discovered by an international research team, in which Graz University of Technology’s Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications (TU Graz, Austria) played a central role. The EU’s European Research Council (ERC) has been supporting this research project since 2016, to the tune of two-million euro.
On 13 September 2017 the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of the resilience measures the Commission has tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the European Union Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU’s cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission has presented an ambitious reform proposal, including a permanent mandate for the agency to ensure that ENISA can not only provide expert advice, as has been the case until now, but can also perform operational tasks. The proposal also envisages the creation of the first voluntary EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products, where ENISA will also play an important role. Within the European Parliament the file has been assigned to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee.