Fitzgerald promises to introduce cybercrime legislation ‘as soon as possible’

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald opened the Dublin Info Sec 2016 conference with a promise to introduce new cybercrime legislation “as soon as possible”.

The cyber security conference, taking place in the RDS Concert Hall today, will hear a wide range of speakers discussing threats to business in the information age.

Ms Fitzgerald told the conference: “Earlier this year I published legislation dealing with attacks against information systems.

“The Criminal Justice (Offences Relating to Information Systems) Bill defines criminal offences in the area of cyber attacks on information systems and the information held on them and seeks to establish effective penalties for such offences.

“The Bill creates new offences relating to unauthorised accessing of information systems, interference with information systems or with data on such systems, interception of transmission of data to or from information systems, and the use of tools, such as computer programmes, passwords or devices, to facilitate the commission of these offences.”

She added: “I intend to bring this legislation before the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible.”

Ms Fitzgerald also spoke about the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect from May 2018.

She said: “The Directive is a major change in how countries in Europe approach cyber security, and involves a shift in approach towards a more formal type of regulatory relationship in certain key industries.

“In some essential services, we will be required to identify critical infrastructure operators, and to require them to report incidents on a mandatory basis and to meet certain security standards. In practical terms, this means that across the energy, transport, finance, health, water supply and digital infrastructure sectors, we will be actively identifying which physical infrastructure we regard as critical.

“We will be working with these operators to ensure they measures to secure themselves against attack.

“There is an ongoing public consultation on the Directive and I invite those of you with suggestions on the approach Ireland should take to make those suggestions known.”

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