Australia to post cyber crime fighters overseas

Photo courtesy of Surian Soosay on Flickr
Photo courtesy of Surian Soosay on Flickr

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will place members within Interpol, Europol, and Pittsburgh’s National Centre of Cyber Training Alliance to help fight against cybercrime.

The agency’s manager of Cyber Crime Operations, High Tech Crime Operations, commander Glen McEwan said the move follows Australia’s agreement to share certain information with international crime-fighting agencies to crack down on cybercriminals.

“From a policy point of view, the Australian government has ceded to various international conventions that allow us to more freely exchange information around cyber,” said McEwan. “The AFP, representing Australian law enforcement, are about to embark on strategic placements within Interpol, Europol, and also the National Centre of Cyber Training alliance in Pittsburgh.”

McEwan said Australian law enforcement can do its job more effectively when it collaborates closely with international agencies than it can if it operates only from within Australia’s borders.

“I think for Australian law enforcement in this sphere is actually taking fight offshore, where we work very closely with our international law-enforcement partners,” said McEwan. “Some do have far greater capability through jurisdiction or judicial focus than we do here in Australia; Romania is a fantastic example of that.”

The strategy has already worked. In 2012, the AFP worked closely with overseas authorities to shut down a Romanian crime ring whose targets included more than 500,000 Australian credit card accounts through POS systems vulnerabilities.