Need to protect EU’s virtual borders from cybercrime

Interpol’s Secretary General has warned EU justice and home affairs ministers that while the strategic partnership between Interpol and the EU plays a key role in protecting Europe’s physical borders against transnational organised crime, it increasingly needs to address “the real threat to EU’s virtual borders, citizens and economies” posed by cybercrime.

Feb 17, 2011
By Paul Jacques
Graeme Biggar

Interpol’s Secretary General has warned EU justice and home affairs ministers that while the strategic partnership between Interpol and the EU plays a key role in protecting Europe’s physical borders against transnational organised crime, it increasingly needs to address “the real threat to EU’s virtual borders, citizens and economies” posed by cybercrime.

Speaking at an informal meeting of EU ministers, Ronald Noble said that protecting the EU’s virtual borders represented a challenge with the threat of cybercrime.

“A cyber attack can originate anywhere outside a country’s or continent’s borders, but the threat to citizens and economies at home is very real,” said Mr Noble as he underlined how 75 per cent of all Internet users worldwide had reported being the victim of online crime at least once.

He said that beyond acts of cybercrime, many forms of criminality now have a technical component, for example terrorism, with radicalisation largely taking place on the Internet.

In this respect, Mr Noble said that Interpol expected to be able to devise 21st century solutions to some of the toughest cybercrime challenges through the Interpol Global Complex (IGC) being developed in Singapore.

The key functions of the IGC will include cutting-edge research in the identification of crime and criminals; meeting the demand for technology and innovation-based police capacity building; and enhancing Interpol’s capacity to provide round-the-clock operational support across time zones.
The IGC is due to be fully operational by late 2013 or early 2014.

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