Six months after submitting the first draft, Place Beauvau has just presented a new version of its Orientation and Programming Bill this Wednesday, September 7th, in the Council of Ministers. This text must give “la” to the ministry of Gerald Darmanin before the end of the five-year term. This should also allow the Ministry of the Interior to be strengthened in the field of digital technologies and cybersecurity, which is one of the stated priorities.
However, in the absence of a majority in parliament, the passage of the bill should be synonymous with adjustments supported by the opposition in the National Assembly and the Senate. If the topics of cyber defense and the fight against cybercrime are quite aligned, surprises are not ruled out.
Already announced positions
Clearly a victim of a summer weight loss treatment, however, provisions regarding the expansion of polls under a pseudonym have disappeared from the new text. The original bill, introduced in March, sought to expand the payment process for purchases “in addition to drugs and weapons, to any illegal product or service purchased online as part of a pseudonymous investigation.”
Apart from this trap, the new text is largely in line with the continuity of the March bill regarding its cyber components. Thus, as already explained in our columns, the government wants to condition the payment of the ransom on filing a complaint. With regard to the fight against cybercrime, the text continues to provide for the reform of the crypto asset seizure system. If investigators were already able to make such seizures, the new provision should simplify the process.
Similarly, a report detailing the goals of the bill again mentions the creation of a “number 17” in the future to report a cyberattack and receive “immediate and reassuring advice”. If its exact contours are not known, this cyber-17 should rely on the government’s Cybermalveillance platform, the regional incident response centers being created, the Pharos and Perceval platforms, and Anssi. In the void, it can be assumed that this emergency number is intended to help victims better find themselves between the various public structures that interfere in this area.
The goal of 1,500 cyber patrol officers is also maintained, the recruitment of which, in particular, will pass through the cyber reserves of the gendarmerie and the police. Just like creating a school of cybercrime or aiming to eventually raise the awareness of all companies and institutions about the risks associated with cybercrime.
On the way to Rennes?
Finally, the Ministry of the Interior reports that it is still considering the possibility of combining technical and cyber-analytical capacities in Rennes. One way, according to Place Beauvau, is to “improve synergy within the inter-ministerial cyber ecosystem.” What kind of Place Beauvau services can be discussed is unknown.
The Breton capital already integrates the General Directorate of Armaments and Information Management, that is, the Cyber Expertise Center of the Armed Forces. For its part, Anssi plans to open a new branch in Rennes by the end of the year, which should have around 200 agents in the expansion.