EU Opens Cybercrime Center

    January 11, 2013 will be the official opening of the European Cybercrime Center (European Cybercrime Center, EC3). The opening ceremony, to be held at the European Union Police Headquarters in The Hague, will be attended by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malström. The employees of the Center took up their duties on January 1.

    The new Europol division will play a leading role in the fight against cybercrime in the European Union. EC3 will create the operational and analytical capacities necessary to ensure a quick response to cybercrime, as well as organize the interaction of official EU agencies and member states with international partners. The mandate of the Center defines the following areas of responsibility:

    - the fight against crimes committed by organized criminal groups and entailing the receipt of illegal proceeds on an especially large scale, such as credit card fraud or banking operations;

    - the fight against crimes that seriously harm the victim, in particular child molestation and seduction;

    - the fight against actions aimed at causing harm or disabling the EU infrastructure and information systems.

    The Center will also deal with data collection and processing, providing informational, technical and forensic support to the relevant law enforcement agencies of the EU member states, coordinating joint investigations, training and training specialists (in cooperation with CEPOL). The center will facilitate research and software development (R&D), assess and analyze existing and potential threats, make forecasts and issue early warnings. The Centre’s activities will also include assistance to judges and prosecutors.

    According to the European Commission, Europeans are extremely concerned about the growing number of cybercrimes. 89% of the EU population avoids the disclosure of personal information on the network, 12% are already victims of fraud. The global damage from cybercrime in 2011 amounted to 290 billion euros.

    The European Commission has announced its intention to establish a Center to Combat Cybercrime in November 2010. The feasibility study was carried out by the European division of the American Strategic Research Center (RAND).


    1. The official press release of the European Commission
    2. EC3 on Europol website
    3. Feasibility Study for a European Cybercrime Center
    4. Twitter EC3 Director

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