European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Creating a Safer Information Society by Improving the Security of Information Infrastructures and Combating Computer-related Crime, COM(2000) 890 final (full-text).
This Communication discusses the need for and possible forms of a comprehensive policy initiative in the context of the broader Information Society and Freedom, Security and Justice objectives for improving the security of information infrastructures and combating cybercrime, in accordance with the commitment of the European Union to respect fundamental human rights.
The development of new information and communication technologies is radically changing the EU economy and society. The success of the information society is crucial for Europe's growth, competitiveness and employment opportunities. That is why the Commission adopted the eEurope initiative in December 1999 to ensure that the EU can reap the full benefits.
The general action plan on the eEurope initiative, approved by the Feira European Council in June 2000, highlights the importance of network security and the fight against cybercrime. As a result, the European Union has taken a number of steps to fight harmful and illegal content on the Internet, protect intellectual property and personal data, promote electronic commerce and tighten up the security of transactions:
- The action programme on organised crime, adopted by the Council (Justice and Home Affairs) in May 1997 and endorsed by the Amsterdam European Council, called on the Commission to carry out a study on computer-related crime. The Commission presented the study (known as the "COMCRIME study") in April 1998.
- The Tampere European Council acknowledged that high-tech crime should be included in efforts to reach agreement on common definitions and penalties for a number of criminal offences.
- Initial measures have been adopted under the Union's strategy for combating high-tech crime.