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Appeared on: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
EU Commission Wants Cybercrime Centre to Fight Online Criminals

Today, the European Commission proposed to establish a European Cybercrime Centre to help protect European citizens and businesses against these mounting cyber-threats.

The centre will be established within the European Police Office, Europol in The Hague (The Netherlands). The centre will be the European focal point in fighting cybercrime and will focus on illegal online activities carried out by organised crime groups, particularly those generating large criminal profits, such as online fraud involving credit cards and bank credentials.

The EU experts will also work on preventing cybercrimes affecting e-banking and online booking activities, thus increasing e-consumers trust. A focus of the European Cybercrime Centre will be to protect social network profiles from e-crime infiltration and will help the fight against online identity theft. It will also focus on cybercrimes which cause serious harm to their victims, such as online child sexual exploitation and cyber-attacks affecting critical infrastructure and information systems in the Union.

"Millions of Europeans use the Internet for home banking, online shopping and planning holidays, or to stay in touch with family and friends via online social networks. But as the online part of our everyday lives grows, organised crime is following suit - and these crimes affect each and every one of us," said Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Home Affairs. "We can't let cybercriminals disrupt our digital lives. A European Cybercrime Centre within Europol will become a hub for cooperation in defending an internet that is free, open and safe."

The centre is expected to start operations in January of next year.

For the Centre to be established, the European Commission's proposal now needs to be adopted by the budgetary authority of Europol.


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