Commissie over Cyber Crime Commission set to target cyber crime European Voice Issue Volume 6 Number 5
by Peter Chapman
JUSTICE and Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino and information society chief Erkki Liikanen are joining forces to draft an EU-wide action plan to combat online crime. The move comes amid growing concern that
criminals across the Union are turning their back on traditional methods, taking advantage of the anonymity of the Internet and e-mail to launder cash, run illegal child pornography rings and steal credit card numbers from online shoppers. Thwarting online crime is notoriously difficult.
Computer servers can be quickly moved between countries and police forces and law enforcement agencies acknowledge that they must start working together to solve cases. Commission insiders say officials are close to deciding what legislation is needed to step up the fight against cyber criminals and are holding talks with member state experts on the issue. A spokesman for Vitorino said plans to target cyber crime would be linked to efforts to thwart organised crime in general. He said they would be included in a general policy paper expected this summer examining the scope and timetable for action in a raft of justice and home affairs areas, including EU asylum policy and judicial co-operation. The Commissioner is currently touring EU capitals to discuss the paper, which was promised at last’s October special justice and home affairs summit in Tampere, but formal proposals are not expected before the end of this year. These could include a ‘police school’ to train officers in methods of identifying and tackling online crime, plans for greater cooperation among law enforcement agencies and a “reinforcement” of the role of Interpol. “For the time being Interpol’s role is to exchange information and good practice. It would need to transform itself into a more effective organisation to get involved in investigations under the leadership of national police forces,” said the spokesman.
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