Christian Hawellek was attending an evening debate on tackling cybercrime in the Representation of the State North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels which featured the following speakers
- Cecilia Malmström, European commissioner for home affairs;
- Boris Pistorius, interior minister of Lower Saxony, chairman of the German conference of interior ministers;
- Enrique Blanco Nadales, chief technology officer, Telefónica;
- Lambert van Nistelrooij MEP, member of the committee on industry, research and energy, shadow rapporteur on critical information infrastructure protection;
- Professor Jos Dumortier, head of the Belgian cyber-crime center of excellence for training, research and education (B-CCENTRE).
During the Q&A part there was the opportunity to address the Commissioner with a question related to the SMART project (of which he is deputy co-ordinator), as one of our preliminary findings is that the legal framework governing the tools to fight cyber crime and the related legal safeguards is still highly divergent throughout Europe. Based upon this statement he asked the Commissioner whether she would consider it possible or even likely – both from a legal and political perspective – that we can move forward on the European level towards harmonizing not only the data exchange between domestic LEAs, but also tools for data collection and related safeguards as such. The Commissioner replied that although DG Home Affairs was on the problem, the primary focus currently lies on the exchange of information on good practices between LEAs and that there was still some way to go until we be at the point at which we could start to think about legislative acts.