EU Launches Cybercrime Center

Posted March 29th, 2012 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The European Union has announced a series of measures this week designed to crack down on the growing problem of cybercrime.

A European Parliament committee on Tuesday proposed mandatory jail sentences across the EU for some computer crimes. Currently, each EU state has its own regulations.

On Wednesday, the European Commission announced plans for setting up a European cybercrimes center that would be based in The Hague .

The center would focus on issues including credit card fraud, identity theft and online child sexual exploitation. It would also be used to offer assistance to EU member states in protecting profiles on social network sites.

Raj Samini, a chief technical officer for the McAfee security technology company, tells VOA a multi-national approach to fighting cybercrimes could be beneficial.

“Cybercriminals from different countries are kind of collaborating and communicating and coordinating efforts. So, it's important for law enforcement to also do that.”

In a report from Brussels, the European Commission said recent findings suggest cybercrime victims lose about $388 billion worldwide each year.

But Samini says money is not always the primary motivation for cybercriminals.

“We are seeing some cybercriminals who are not necessarily motivated by financial crime. For example, the opportunity to be able to raise awareness for issues that they may have.”

The EU's proposed cybercrimes center would be set up within Europol, the European Police Office.

The European Commission says if funding is approved, the center will open in January.