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EU’s support for defence research discreetly gets off the mark

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – The EU’s ambitious plan to enter the field of defence research, with all that implies for policy and capability development, quietly shifted into gear in mid-April as the European Commission nailed down the plan’s legal and budgetary details, and its first year’s tendering intentions. The dual-use ramifications of this are significant, since nearly all of the defence research and development projects to be supported by the plan – and future EU spending in this arena – could be spun out to civil security applications as well.

Little noticed by the press, the decision was signed into law on 11 April by…

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Horizon 2020 programme throws cash at cybersecurity-related security projects, hoping something will stick to the Dark Web

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...