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[eccr] EC Adopts Cybercrime Penalties Proposal

Fri Apr 26 11:45:39 GMT 2002

Title: EC Adopts Cybercrime Penalties Proposal
EC Adopts Cybercrime Penalties Proposal

By Adam Creed, Newsbytes
24 Apr 2002, 6:18 AM CST
The European Commission (EC) has approved a proposal that would harmonize definitions and penalties for a range of computer crimes across all EU member states.

A European Council Framework Decision on "attacks against information systems" will address cybercrimes such as hacking, denial-of-service attacks and the release of destructive computer viruses.

The proposal is for all EU member states to have consistent definitions and criminal penalties for cybercrimes, rather than the hodgepodge of different national laws or lack of laws altogether that exists today.

"Member states' laws contain some significant gaps which could hamper the ability of law enforcement and judicial authorities to respond to crimes against information systems," said Antonio Vitorino, European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, in a commission statement Tuesday.

"Given the trans-national nature of hacking, virus and denial-of-service attacks, it is important that the European Union takes action in this area to ensure effective police and judicial cooperation," he added.

The commission says the implementation of the proposal will give European law enforcement authorities additional legal means to act in their fight against cybercrimes.

The proposal encompasses laws criminalizing "illegal access to computer systems (hacking)" and "illegal interference with information systems (denial-of-service attacks or the distribution of viruses)."

More information about the EU's proposals to tackle cybercrimes are at .

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