Europol to Head New EU Cybercrime Centre and Consultation Project
A new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) based at Europol in The Hague will be the focal point in the EU's fight against cybercrime and serve as the European information hub in this area, the European law enforcement agency announced today.
An alliance formed from business, government, law enforcement, security agencies and professionals has been endorsed by the Council of the EU and will be operational by 1 January 2013. As part of the existing Europol structure the Centre will pool expertise and information, support criminal investigations and promote EU-wide solutions, the European law enforcement agency announced today.
The launch of EC3 is in response to the increasing threat from cybercrime and the rapid growth of prime targets within the EU as Internet-based economies and payment systems continue to evolve. As well as becoming an information hub the centre aims to develop tools in support of investigations in the EU and to raise awareness while, at the same time, building a community of experts from all sectors of society. The borderless nature of cybercrime presents considerable challenges to law enforcement worldwide requiring better collaboration and cooperation across all industry sectors.
In a press statement on the Europol website Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, said:
"The establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre will be a landmark development in the EU's fight against cybercrime. I am delighted that the Commission has proposed its establishment at Europol. Organised crime groups, terrorist groups and other criminals are quick to exploit the opportunities afforded by developments in technology, and the time is ripe for the authorities to get one step ahead. The European Cybercrime Centre will provide governments, businesses and citizens throughout the Union with the tools to tackle cybercrime. Building on Europol's proven track record and unique expertise in this area, and with the support of the Member States, other EU bodies, international partners, and the private sector, the European Cybercrime Centre will make the EU smarter, faster and stronger in its fight against cybercrime."
At the same time Europol announced its lead in a consultation into the future of cybercrime by ICSPA (International Cyber Security Protection Alliance) called Project 2020. The project will bring together organisations and professional communities for a combined international study into the development of cybercrime in the future.
The Project Director for Project 2020, Europol’s Dr. Baines said,
“Cybercrime evolves as quickly as technology, and technology develops so quickly that the unthinkable becomes mainstream before we can imagine. Furthermore, criminals today can still surprise us as they move from region to region around the world. We have the groups around the table who can make sure this will no longer be the case.”
For more information on Project 2020 visit The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) website.
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