Information Security Agency: EP Committee wants more public involvement

On 7 October, the Parliament’s Industry Committee approved with amendments a proposal to establish a European Network and Information Security Agency.

In its amendments, after a first reading, the Committee said
the agency should

  • ensure that network security solutions are easily accessible to
    small and medium-sized companies
  • provide advice to the Commission as well as to the Parliament,
    the competent European and national bodies and the business
  • invite tenders for research in the area of network and
    information security
  • be run by a management board to be approved before 31 January
    each year by both the Commission and the Parliament
  • have a nine-member advisory board representing the industry,
    the consumer associations as well as the science and research
  • be operational for a limited period only (from 1 January 2004
    to 31 December 2008).


Business Software Alliance (BSA) has expressed its
support for the creation of the Network and Information Security
Agency. BSA said the agency should work with industry stakeholders
and promote expanded government/industry cooperation. BSA believes
that the Agency should follow the development of network security
standards rather than promote the use of particular standards, and
should promote public/private dialogue by responding to inquiries
from the private sector as well.

Welcoming the planned establishment of the
agency, the
American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU)
has urged close cooperation between the new body and the private
sector, and has called for representatives of the industry and the
consumer organisations to be included in the agency's management


The European Network and Information Security Agency would
have a budget of 24.3 million euro and would be charged with
helping to prevent problems such as computer crashes, IT network
failures, viruses and unauthorised interception of communications.
The prime objectives are to create a common approach in Europe to
network and information security, to assist in the application of
relevant Community measures and to enhance the Member States'
capability to respond to problems. The creation of the agency was
endorsed in principle by the EU's Telecommunications Council on 5
June 2003 (see also


The proposal will be on the Parliament's plenary agenda on 22
October 2003, and the Telecommunications Council will discuss the
issue on 20 November 2003.


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