Europe urged to set up cybercrime centre

The centre would bring harmony to law enforcement and justice efforts across the region, according to the European Council, which is calling for a feasibility study
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

European Union member states should look into setting up a European cybercrime centre to coordinate efforts across the region, the European Council has urged.

The council on Monday called on the European Commission to set up a feasibility study for the centre, which would carry out the cybercrime provisions laid out in the Stockholm Programme. The programme, a series of 170 initiatives designed to improve European policing and security, has a goal of cracking down on gangs that are using new technologies to spread scams.

"This feasibility study should consider, in particular, the aim, scope and possible financing of the centre and whether it should be located at Europol," according to a European Council document. The European Council, which is made up of the heads of government of member states, is charged with setting out priorities for the EU.

The centre could undertake harmonisation actions such as encouraging information sharing between European police forces. It would also train police, the judiciary, prosecutors and forensics teams to an appropriate level to carry out cybercrime investigations, the council said.

In addition, it would liaise between different European cybercrime bodies, including network security agency Enisa and Interpol. Enisa already functions as an information-sharing organisation, though the cybercrime centre's remit would be wider. For example, it would encourage the adoption of a common policing approach that could help with the swift revocation of domain names of sites used for attacks and fraud.

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