Earlier on today, the 13th of March 2014, the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Network & Information Security (NIS) Directive on cyber security with 521 votes in favour; 22 votes against; and another 25 abstentions.

This Directive addresses a common concern among EU Member States about their readiness to deal with cyber-attacks. Several gaps exist in different countries, and such gaps need to be bridged. After all, a network is only as strong as its weakest link.

Commissioner Neelie Kroes has exhorted everyone to work together to show that governments and legislators are the solution to the online trust problem and not the problem itself. Despite Ms. Kroes’ exhortation, however, the memory of ACTA remains deeply-ingrained in the psyche of European populations and it will take more than just words to convince those who have taken the streets to protest that legislators and Governments (especially the EU) mean business when it comes to gaining public trust.

According to Ms. Kroes, the next step is to engage with Member States to ensure that they understand the significance of cyber security, and to target final acquiescence by the end of 2014. She also emphasised that speed should not come at the expense of substance and that society at large needed to regain trust in technology and the legal protections that there are to defend their wellbeing.

Ms. Kroes concluded by saying that her ambition is to make Europe the world’s safest online space and hoped, to that effect, that the European Parliament and the Governments at the Member State level would embrace the same vision.

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