Ahern backs EU internet crime hotline

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has backed a move to set up an EU wide hotline to combat internet crime and abuses.

The European Union agreed on Friday to establish a European alert platform for reporting internet offences.

Ireland already has a national website, hotline.ie, to deal with alerts on child pornography.

The Minister pledged Ireland was fully behind the new move to tackle crime, financial scams and sexual exploitation on the internet.

Mr Ahern said: “We fully back the establishment of an EU wide hotline and reporting mechanism. This will operate in tandem with Ireland’s existing hotline reporting system.

“It is very difficult to police the internet, but with advances in technology, data retention and other measures, we can continue to close the noose on those who use the internet to prey on the young and the vulnerable.”

Europol – the EU law enforcement agency – has been given the task of creating the European online reporting system.

The EU-wide scheme will improve effectiveness and efficiency in fighting internet crimes and avoid overlapping investigations in European member states.

The online reporting system will cover all internet crimes which Europol define as including e-frauds, e-laundering, child pornography, e-terrorism, phishing, ID theft, drugs and extortion.

“Technology is advancing and many evil doers who thought they were firewalled from identification will have to think again,” Mr Ahern added.

“The fight against cyber crime needs special measures. These EU measures can assist our law enforcement bodies in their efforts to prevent and investigate the very important and increasing threat from cybercrime”

“We also support the involvement of Europol in the fight against cybercrime.”


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