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Neelie Kroes unveils EU cybersecurity strategy

European Commission publishes Proposed Directive on Network and Information Security.

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The European Commission has published two documents aimed at improving online security for citizens and businesses within the EU.

The new cybersecurity strategy, dubbed An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace', and the Proposed Directive of Network and Information Security (NIS) were both announced in Brussels by the Commission's vice president for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes.

There is no true freedom without security, not when you are walking down the street and not when you are online

"We are all here because we recognise the internet is important: for our economy, for our values, and for human rights," said Kroes.

"We rely on the internet for ever more services...but the more we depend on it, the more we depend on it to be secure.

"And there is no true freedom without security, not when you are walking down the street and not when you are online," she added.

The strategy sets out five priority areas for online security. They include achieving cyber resilience, reducing cybercrime, developing a cyber defence policy and capabilities related to the Common Security and Defence Policy.

It also seeks to develop industrial and technological resources for cybersecurity, and establish a coherent international cyberspace policy for the EU.

The Commission said the proposed NIS directive is "a key component of the overall strategy and would require all member states, key internet enablers and critical infrastructure operators...to ensure a secure and trustworthy digital environment throughout the EU."

Intel and anti-virus firm McAfee issued a joint statement welcoming the move.

"These actions demonstrate the European Union's commitment and resolve to address these threats. Together with the recent creation of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in the Hague, today's proposals further pave the way for a strong and co-ordinated response against these 21st century threats," they said in a blog post.

The full text of both documents is available to download from the European Union website.

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