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European Parliament to discuss raft of cyber security law changes

20 Feb 2013
European Parliament

The European Parliament is set to host a debate on cyber security and cybercrime that could radically alter the data sharing and disclosure laws for the region.

The debate is scheduled to take place in the early evening on Wednesday and includes presentations on cybercrime and protecting privacy in the cloud.

Most notably these discussions include sections on the infamous US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendment Act (FISAAA).

FISAAA has drawn interest from numerous privacy groups. The groups have warned that if made law the policy will enable the US government to spy on data held with US cloud providers without needing to obtain a warrant.

Some groups have since expressed concerns that the meeting could lead to similar measures affecting European cloud providers being implemented.

However, an EC spokesman moved to dismiss such concerns, telling V3 the body is aware of the report and has considered it with regard its own strategy, but does not believe it will have an impact.

"We're taking a look at the report, and are always interested in practical improvements that help implementation of our policies. But the basic framework of the cloud computing strategy is set and won't be changing," said the spokesman.

Partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, Stewart Room, agreed it was unlikely the European Parliament would consider such drastic measures.

"The Draft Cybersecurity Directive contains an Article 13 a power that will enable the EU to co-operate with other countries to maintain cyber security and in theory at least, this could include data sharing," Room told V3.

"However, it's unlikely to lead to US law enforcement agencies having access to cloud data."

However, Room said businesses should be more concerned on the US FISAAA policy, which could potentially slow cloud adoption in Europe.

"Some businesses may be concerned and it is an issue that some will want to factor into their cloud adoption strategies," Room told V3.

"There is always a risk that adverse publicity around this issue will have a knock-on effect for US cloud businesses."

The Parliament meeting comes just after the European Commission unveiled its new cyber strategy.

The strategy held similar policies designed to force businesses related to critical infrastructure areas to disclose data on "significant cyber incidents" on their networks.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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