New EU Cybercrime Centre is a click in the right direction

09-Jan-2013 @ 15:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A new EU Cybercrime Centre to be opened this week in the Hague is a welcome step to prevent fraud and piracy, to combat child abuse online, and to protect against terrorism and attacks against infrastructure, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Conservative home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said today.

The new facility - called EC3 - will be launched on the 11th January. It will become the EU's focal point for the EU's fight against cybercrime, working with national police forces to increase operational and investigative capacity.

In the UK alone, Cybercrime costs more than £27bn a year. Intellectual property fraud alone accounts for £9.2bn of this figure (Cabinet Office figures). Globally, around a million people have fallen victim to it each day at a cost of around €290 billion each year (Norton, 2011).

Cybercrime has a vast reach varying from attacks against cyber networks and databases, identity theft, the distribution of child sex abuse images, counterfeiting pharmaceuticals, the sale of pirate products and drugs, the penetration of online financial services, attacks against technology infrastructure such as power plants, electrical grids, governments, and major companies and of course the proliferation of terrorism.

Mr Kirkhope said: "Cyber criminals work across borders and cross-border cooperation both within the EU and externally is essential. This new centre is exactly the sort of rule the EU should be playing in facilitating cooperation between police forces.

"Cyber criminals are not selective in who they attack. They could target children sitting on their computers at home, or adult consumers every time they log on to online banking services or do the weekly shopping online.

"The UK Government has been placing resources in this area, and it is positive that the EU is directing resources to this centre.

"In the UK, attacks upon IT systems have been identified as one of the major threats to national security. The global nature of Cybercrime means that no country can afford to go it alone. By creating a European and global network we can finally begin to tackle this problem and EC3 is very welcome in helping to prevent this scourge."

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