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FIRST Europe ?

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  • From: Don Stikvoort < >
  • Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 08:48:12 +0100
  • Address: Cluetinckborch, P.O. Box 19035, 3501 DA Utrecht, NL
  • Organisation: SURFnet bv
  • Phone: +31 30 310290
  • Telefax: +31 30 340903

Dear colleagues,

In the DANTE CERT discussion I've seen a point being made about
a possible FIRST Europe which I feel a need to clarify,
thereby amplifying Wilfried's reaction to the subject:

Harald wrote:

> ...
> - The Concert-in-E proposal should be pursued, but the result might
>   be more of a consultation forum (FIRST-Europe?) rather than
>   an operational service (CERT-Europe).
> ...

We - meaning European CERT folks, in growing numbers - have been 
debating this issue since mid 1993, and the outcome invariably was 
the following:

We do NOT need a European version of FIRST. 

Why? Simple. FIRST is the worldwide CLUB of CERT's. No less, no more.
They do administrative work, gather information on the teams,
provide for an annual meeting, stimulate coordination between teams
and that's about it. 

What for earth sake would we need a European version of the FIRST
I just described for? 

FIRST is NOT involved in real-time incident handling, that is solely
done by the member teams of FIRST. And the de facto nucleus of THAT
activity, incident handling, is CERT/CC. Now it has become clear of
late that CERT/CC can nor will assume that role for Europe
indefinitely. That leaves two options. Either all of European CERT's -
a rapidly growing number! -  start interacting with each other and the
rest of the world on the basis of many many bilateral relationships;
or we create a European parallel to CERT/CC to solve that problem.

Most of us - in my understanding - agreed we need the latter, and that
is what EuroCERT, NICE, Concert-in-E and DANTE CERT were and are all 
about. There are differences of opinion though on mainly two items.
One is timescale: do we need this NOW, or only somewhere in 1996?
And the other is how to get there: who will organize it, who will
pay for it and who will be doing the job. The DANTE CERT discussion
falls into this category.

Kind regards,
Don Stikvoort
CERT-NL


PS: The recent meeting of European CERT's in Hamburg was, like its
    predecessor in Amsterdam the year before, NOT a European imitation
    of FIRST, but an ADDITION to what FIRST is doing.
    Travel costs to the USA is one reason for doing this. The other
    that there are a lot of networks preparing CERT activities
    in Europe who like to know about their neighbours and about
    FIRST. We specifically use the name FSIG-Europe for this
    contact group - FIRST Special Interest Group Europe - though
    I must add that this name has no official FIRST rubber stamp (yet).



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