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E.U. approves its first cybersecurity rules

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Inside the European Parliament.

The European Parliament has  approved  the first rules on cybersecurity for the European Union. This will force businesses to strengthen defenses against cyberattacks — and to promptly report to regulators when they do happen. This puts a particular onus on such digital giants as Google , Facebook and Amazon.

The new law  will impose security and reporting obligations on   such industries such as banking, energy, transport and health and on  such all-digital operators as companies running search engines and online marketplaces. The law also requires the governments of E.U member states to cooperate much more than they have in network security.

The rules “will help prevent cyberattacks on Europe’s important interconnected infrastructures,”   Andreas Schwab, a German member of the 28-nation Parliament who steered the measures through the parliament. E.U. governments had already supported the legislation.

Russian  and Chinese government-linked and other hackers, some of them Islamic terrorists, have targeted essential infrastructure and services in several nations.

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