EU: Hacking IT systems to become a criminal offence

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Cyber attacks on IT systems would become a criminal offence punishable by at least two years in prison throughout the EU under a draft law backed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. Possessing or distributing hacking software and tools would also be an offence, and companies would be liable for cyber attacks committed for their benefit.

The proposal, which would update existing EU legislation on cyber attacks, was approved with by 50 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions.

“We are dealing here with serious criminal attacks, some of which are even conducted by criminal organisations. The financial damage caused for companies, private users and the public side amounts to several billions each year” said rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE). “No car manufacturer may send a car without a seatbelt into the streets. And if this happens, the company will be held liable for any damage. These rules must also apply in the virtual world” she added. Here to read more.

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