HomeNewsBriefCan Ameripol Center Effectively Combat Cyber Crime?
BRIEF

Can Ameripol Center Effectively Combat Cyber Crime?

CYBERCRIME / 7 AUG 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Following the most recent Ameripol meeting, national police chiefs announced the creation of a cyber security center to prevent and combat electronic crimes, underscoring growing regional concern over this type of criminal activity and raising questions about the best way to address cyber crime.

On August 7, the Police Community of the Americas (Ameripol) announced a new law enforcement institute would be put in place to evaluate and address cyber crime threats, reported Prensa Latina. According to a document released by Ameripol, the center will collect regional data on internet crimes and provide support to law enforcement bodies in the Americas. The proposed initiative includes law enforcement training, the creation of benchmarks, technical assistance and international cooperation with other police organizations.

The decision came as a result of an Ameripol meeting that took place in Quito, Ecuador between August 4 and August 6. At the meeting, members also agreed to strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking and corruption, and announced the creation of a pilot information exchange program.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cyber crime is a serious problem in Latin America and costs the region billions of dollars a year. Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina have been among the hardest hit countries in the region. According to a report published by RSA Security (pdf), in 2013 Colombia and Brazil ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for estimated losses from phishing — the online theft of financial or personal information — which cost the countries an estimated $95 million and $86 million, respectively.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Cyber Crime

Several countries in the region have taken steps to combat cyber crime, with Peru and Brazil updating their criminal codes to target illegal internet activities and Colombia creating a special police unit. In 2013, technology company Microsoft announced the establishment of a regional anti-cyber crime office in Bogota, Colombia.

Ameripol’s decision to create a regional cyber security center will likely provide law enforcement agencies with additional tools to combat cyber crime and assist in the development of best practices to combat the crime in each country.

However, it also raises questions about how these types of security threats can be effectively addressed. As a recent case of Russian hackers stealing more than a billion internet passwords demonstrates, cyber theft is a borderless crime, meaning a centralized regional law enforcement hub is unlikely to be enough to stop it. Meanwhile, governments may be wary of sharing too much knowledge, lest they give away key information regarding their own cyber-espionage tactics. 

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

CHILE / 18 APR 2013

Chilean investigative police have arrested three Colombians allegedly dedicated to credit card cloning, further evidence of the growing problems of…

MEXICO / 26 OCT 2016

A new study from a Mexico security expert examines the driving factors behind the explosion of vigilante groups around the…

INFOGRAPHICS / 1 DEC 2016

A new index measuring the competence of countries' security forces has its flaws, but nevertheless offers insights into the fundamental…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …