THE MAGAZINE

Solving International Crimes

By Laura Spadanuta

Technology companies can help Interpol not just in fighting cyberattacks but also in tackling other computer and Internet-related crimes. “Since 2005, Interpol and Microsoft Corporation have been working closely together to provide training to police officers worldwide against high-tech crimes, computer-facilitated crimes against children, and violations of Intellectual Property Rights,” explained Interpol in a press release.

The agency notes that Microsoft has supported Interpol’s development of the International Child Sexual Exploitation Image (ICSE) Database. “Specialized crime investigators and computer forensic teams use software provided by Microsoft to share and exchange materials in the investigation of child sexual abuse cases (GROOVE Software) and in the extraction of forensic evidence from suspects’ computers (COFEE Software),” explained the release.

Intellectual property. Intellectual property crime, including counterfeiting of products and trafficking in fake goods, often crosses borders, which brings it into Interpol’s domain, and because the stolen intellectual property typically belongs to private companies, public-private cooperation is particularly useful in this type of crime.

Interpol Washington Director Timothy A. Williams says that the agency works hand in hand with the private sector to solve these crimes. “They, a lot of times, have the access to information on their fake goods or counterfeit goods coming through, and they will advise Interpol,” he says. The companies will also provide experts who can advise Interpol on the counterfeit items.

Forensics. The company Forensic Technology, headquartered in Montreal, Canada, approached Interpol a few years ago about using its server to facilitate a new network that would become the Interpol Ballistic Information Network, known as IBIN. “Countries that sign up for IBIN have their data copied there each night, whatever new acquisitions they’ve done, new photographs they’ve taken. That firearm data is sent to Interpol in its sanitized format, and then any country that’s within IBIN is able to launch a correlation against another country’s IBIN data,” says Andrew Boyle, international forensic fire and solutions manager at Forensic Technology. Boyle says there have already been reports of success; since Spain and Portugal started sharing the information on the server, there have been three crimes linked by ballistics.

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