The brand new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is tackling online abuse, child pornography, identity theft and banking fraud on smartphones - new forms of crime that leave around a million new victims worldwide every day.

"Cyber criminals are smart. They break into our computers, steal our banking identities, pirate our smartphones and pocket billions of euro," Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, who is behind the initiative, told reporters on 9 January, two days ahead of the inauguration of the centre in The Hague (Netherlands).

Based at the premises of Europol, the EU law enforcement agency, the centre already has a staff of 30 full-time employees. It will provide operational support to member states to combat intrusions, fraud and online child sexual abuse. The centre will also provide technical, analytical and forensic expertise in EU joint investigations.

EC3 will focus on criminals with the aim of becoming a "focal point" of information exchange between national law enforcement agencies to identify threats more quickly. "We can't just lock all the doors. We also have to go after the criminals. For now, we lack an overview even though this type of crime is transnational in nature," explained EC3 Director and Europol official Troels Oerting.


Although it is "already solving cases," EC3 will not be fully operational until 2015. It has a budget of 7 million for 2013 drawn...

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