Days before elections, EU approves new cyber sanctions regime
- News Digest
May 19, 2019-
BRUSSELS: The European Union will directly penalise computer hackers after governments agreed on Friday a new mechanism to target individuals anywhere in the world, freezing their assets in the bloc and banning them from entry. The new powers follow a diplomatic push by Britain and the Netherlands—overcoming initial reluctance from Italy—to allow the 28-country bloc to move more quickly against malign cyber attacks that can bring down crucial infrastructure. “This is decisive action to deter future cyber attacks,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement. Just days before European Parliament elections on May 23-26, officials are on alert to any attempts to undermine the vote via disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks. While no names were added immediately, the EU says the sanctions mechanism will allow the bloc to move quickly to punish future attacks, rather than rely on the current system of special country lists that are complex to negotiate.
Published: 19-05-2019 09:37