ARGUS is the general European rapid alert system, with the capability to link all specialized systems for emergencies, and a central crisis centre which would bring together all relevant Commission services during an emergency.
ARGUS was established by a communication from the European Commission in December 2005 with the aim to assure a coordinated and effective management of major multi-sectoral crisis that require a reaction at the European Community level. It is an internal network. Member States and external bodies are connected through sector-specific rapid alert systems.
More precisely, the system:
- Allows each Directorate General in the Commission to inform other Directorates General and services of a beginning or risk of multi-sectoral crisis via an alert exchange.
- Provides a coordination process that can be activated in case of crisis: the crisis coordination committee.
- Provides a common source of information that will be used by the Commission to communicate in an effective and coherent way with citizens.
United States Edit
Argus began at the CIA as an experimental warning system for biological weapons attacks. Instead of waiting for reports from local doctors and hospitals, Argus uses software to look for certain kinds of spikes in global information networks. Search programs focus on keywords on the Internet and in the news media that might indicate an epidemic. Argus is used by the National Institutes of Health and the U.N.'s World Health Organization to check for disease outbreaks of all kinds.
It is being used in the intelligence community as well.