Information Systems Security Bureau as the national Competent PRS Authority (CPA)

On April 26, 2024 The Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Decision on the implementation of Decision No 1104/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the rules for access to the public regulated service provided by the global navigation satellite system established under the Galileo programme (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia No. 50/2024). With this Decision, the Information Systems Security Bureau (ISSB) is designated as the Competent PRS Authority (CPA) for Public Regulated Service (PRS) of the global navigation system under the Galileo programme.

Galileo programme

The goal of the Galileo programme is the establishment of a global infrastructure for satellite navigation and its management, as well as the positioning of infrastructure specifically intended for civil purposes, which can be used by various public and private participants in Europe and the world. The system established under the Galileo programme operates independently of other existing systems and thus contributes, among other things, to the strategic autonomy of the EU.

Galileo provides users with a number of state-of-the-art services for determining position and time and navigation, and includes three main services: Open Service (OS) which is a free positioning service for all users, Public Regulated Service (PRS) which is a positioning service with a high degree of availability and cryptographic protection, intended for special users within state institutions and a support service for search and rescue (SAR) with additional functionalities of communication between the sender of the signal and the rescuer.

Galileo is fully interoperable with the American GPS (Global Positioning System), but enables end users to determine their position many times more precisely and reliably due to greater resistance to signal interference.

The initial Galileo services were launched on 15 December 2016.

The specific objectives of the Galileo programme have ensured that the signals transmitted by the system established under the programme can be used to fulfill the following services:

More accurate navigation for citizens

Galileo Open Service (OS) is a free market service for positioning, timing and navigation that can be used by Galileo-enabled chips in smartphones or car navigation systems. Smartphones with support for Galileo have been on the market since autumn 2015, and today such support is provided by the vast majority of all available models. From 2018, support for Galileo navigation is available in every new vehicle model on the European market with improved navigation services and for a range of devices that enable the use of the eCall system for emergency interventions.

Commercial service

Commercial service (CS) ensures the possibility of developing applications for professional or commercial use with better performance and data with greater added value than those obtained through Open service.

Better time synchronization for critical infrastructures

The Galileo system's high-precision clocks enable more stable time synchronization of banking and financial transactions, telecommunications networks and smart energy distribution networks, which will contribute to their more efficient and reliable operation.

Support in emergency operations

The search and rescue service (Search and Rescue – SAR) enables faster locating and rescue of persons who make a call for help from Galileo-enabled radio beacons. A planned upgrade to this service should include sending a notification to the sender of the distress call that he has been located and that help is on the way.

Reliable publicly regulated services for public authorities (PRS)

Through the PRS service, Galileo provides support to public authorities (such as civil protection services, humanitarian aid services, customs, police, etc.) in emergency or crisis situations (e.g. in the case of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, etc.) through particularly stable and fully encrypted services, which ensures their continued availability and reliability.

The rules for access to the PRS are set out by the Decision No 1104/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011.

The consequences of violating security regulations when using this service are not limited to a specific user, but may also extend to other users. Accordingly, access to PRS must be strictly limited to certain categories of users subject to constant monitoring, which is the responsibility of the Member States involved.

EU Member States and bodies have the right to unrestricted and unhindered access to PRS worldwide. Each individual Member State and EU body decides autonomously whether to use PRS within its jurisdiction.

Each EU member state that decides to use PRS must designate a Competent PRS Authority (CPA). Croatia has fulfilled this obligation with the above-mentioned Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which the European Commission was informed about.

Following this Decision, the task of ISSB as the Croatian CPA body is to ensure the use of PRS by implementing a series of tasks from the following four categories:

  • management of PRS cryptographic materials (receiving cryptographic keys and classified documents from EU bodies and their handing over to authorized users in the Republic of Croatia),
  • keeping records of users - government bodies and persons authorized to use PRS equipment, and their distribution by groups,
  • security management and response to incidents,
  • ensuring the conditions under which the private sector can develop or produce receivers for PRS and
  • coordination when reporting detected potentially harmful electromagnetic interference affecting PRS.

By determining the national CPA body, a system related to the use of sensitive Galileo services intended for use in government bodies and emergency services is established, similar to the information security system for classified data, with Galileo's focus on data protection and the protection of the support service, technology and information systems.