THE HAGUE, Netherlands – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton attended the Friday opening of the new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), based at Europol's headquarters in The Hague. EC3 will be the focal point in the European Unions' fight against cybercrime, protecting citizens and businesses against cybercrime threats.
"The establishment of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is a step in the right direction and will have a significant impact on our shared law enforcement efforts to fight child exploitation and other computer-related crimes," said Director Morton. "As our recently announced operations targeting child predators have demonstrated, the need for international police cooperation is increasingly necessary to effectively identify, arrest and prosecute these criminals."
EC3 will serve as a European information hub on cybercrime, developing and deploying digital forensic capabilities to support investigations in the EU, building capacity to combat cybercrime through training and awareness-raising, as well as delivering best practice on cybercrime investigations.
During the opening ceremony of the center, Director Morton and Europol Director Rob Wainwright signed a letter of intent between ICE and Europol, in which the two agencies committed to developing ongoing, cooperative efforts through support, training, and information sharing on cybercrime, cyber fraud and online child sexual exploitation.
Europol cybercrime experts also took part in a Europol Expo, to inform event participants about the techniques behind tackling such issues as online fraud, cybercrime which causes serious harm to the victim – such as online child sexual exploitation – as well as cybercrime that affects critical infrastructure and information systems.
ICE and Europol are members of the www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.