Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport And Media

Making Europe Fit for the Digital Age: EU Commissioner for Competition

Ms Margrethe Vestager:

These are the areas of responsibility of my colleagues, Commissioner Ylva Johansson, on cybercrime, and Commissioner Margaritis Schinas, on cybersecurity more broadly. I think we have seen only the beginning of dealing with this. Unfortunately, it seems that the digitisation of crime is happening even faster than that of business, the legitimate side of society. Criminal groups use digital technologies at a level we would love the legitimate side of society to use. In the coming years, we will develop not only ways to protect ourselves but also a much stronger zero tolerance of this. Of course, we need also to work on this internationally.

One disturbing issue is that not only are cybercriminals professional in what they do but there are also state-sponsored cyberattacks that in various ways polarise us and make it difficult for people to get the correct information because misinformation is flourishing. One of the big debates in the years to come will concern how to fight state-sponsored attacks. It is not tolerable that we should see what we have seen, most recently in Ireland but also elsewhere during the pandemic, when hospitals became one of the main targets of attacks at a time they were under extreme stress to do their best and to help citizens who were suffering from Covid.


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