Save the date: PSCE Conferences in Athens!

The second 2016 PSCE Conference has taken place in Athens!

  • Date: 22 November 2016 (side event), 23-24 November 2016 (conference)
  • Location: Athens, Greece
  • Preliminary programme: Border security – control & surveillance; Natural disasters; Security by Telecommunications in transport

The list of all PSCE conferences is available here.

Researchers Suggest Way to Track Population Density by Using Mobile Network Data

Population density and distribution is a key variable in designing strategies or assessing the impacts of existing environmental or social policies. Normally, decision makers obtain this data from national institutes for statistics or other local authorities. However, this data is often inaccurate and out-of-date, and therefore also unreliable.

In an attempt to discover a better way to gather data on population density, the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), in collaboration with researchers from AIT, realized that mobile network data could be a better source for such data, as it could be obtained almost immediately and would be more accurate and up-to-date. Accessing this data, though, is complicated by the existing legislation on commercial confidentiality and personal privacy.

In a new report prepared by the JRC and AIT, researchers present and analyse a methodology that could enable mobile network operators to process and integrate different types of network data, which is already in their possession, in order to estimate population density. The methodology has been designed to be flexible and scalable, taking into consideration commercial sensitivity and the need to protect personal privacy and confidentiality. The report also presents the findings discovered when testing the methodology on a sample of artificially generated data.

The JRC and AIT will now seek to gather feedback from interested parties on the proposed methodology, which will then be tested with partner mobile network operators. Subsequently, a dialogue with all willing operators around Europe will be initiated.

New EUROPOL Report Draws Attention to Possible Terrorist Attacks against the EU

In July, the EU’s law enforcement agency EUROPOL published the latest edition of the TE-SAT (European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend) report. The report has been prepared by EUROPOL, based on contributions from EU Member States and several EUROPOL partners.

The report presents a comprehensive overview of the completed and failed terrorist attacks against EU Member States and outlines the main trends related to terrorism. Five different kinds of terrorism are differentiated in the report – religious terrorism; ethno-nationalist terrorism; left-wing and anarchist terrorism; right-wing terrorism; and single-issue terrorism.

According to the report, the overall threat to EU security is likely to continue to increase in the future. Given the persisting situations in Syria and Iraq, EUROPOL speculates that a number of EU Member States will remain prone to harassment, hate-filled rhetoric and unprovoked, opportunistic attacks towards Muslims and Muslim institutions by right-wing extremists.

The report highlights that the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliated groups possess the capability and resources to carry out attacks against EU Member States. As increasingly more European individuals become affiliated with these groups, networks are created, which make pragmatic cooperation more likely. The objective of pursuing a “global jihad”, inspired by the actions of international terrorist groups, is likely to remain.

London’s MPS Issues Call for Tenders on Network Services

A call for tenders has been launched to find a supplier of network services for London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The public sector networking association Innopsis has been put in charge of the procurement process.

The tender is structured in two separate parts. The first concerns wide and local area networks, telephony and inter-network gateways, whereas the second part addresses the provision and management of a call routing system to support all calls to the Police Service. Depending on the quality of responses, it is possible that one contract will be awarded for both parts. Alternatively, two contracts, one for each part, will be given.

Altogether the contracts will be worth up to £240m across a five year period. However, this can be subject to change, depending on the growth of bandwidth use during that time. The call for tenders will be open until 16th October 2015. Invitations to move forward are expected to come by mid-December.

This procurement forms part of the MPS Total Technology Strategy, which aims to ensure that the MPS systems and processes are supported by an infrastructure that is modern, agile, robust, and scalable.

New EPISECC Project Website Launched

The EPISECC project, launched in June 2014, aims to develop a common “European Information Space”, which would ultimately become the key element in a future integrated pan-European crisis and disaster response capacity. One of the main purposes of the EPISECC approach is improving interoperability at all levels and, as such, the project focuses on establishing interoperability at both physical (network) and syntactical (automated information exchange) level.

This summer much work went into remodelling the EPISECC project website. The new version is currently up and running and accessible at www.episecc.eu. The new website is more user-friendly and visually appealing than before. Website visitors have all the main information about the project at their fingertips, including an entirely new “Results” section, which presents the EPISECC publications, presentations, and public deliverables. The new version of the website also includes an embedded Twitter feed and direct links to the EPISECC social media, making it much easier to follow the EPISECC project as it develops. Last but not least, the new project website also provides more information about the EPISECC work plan and methodology.

The role of PSCE in the EPISECC project is linked to identifying user needs. Due to its broad membership base, which includes end-users, research institutes and industrial stakeholders, PSCE has been tasked with obtaining the feedback of these groups on issues relevant to the project. PSCE will also assist in disseminating the results of the EPISECC project.