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Europol takes lead in the fight against dark web crime. In a conference, Europol invites global law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to discuss and share expertise on how to effectively fight and tackle the increasing number of crimes on the dark web.
Over 28 law enforcement special agents, stakeholders and officials from different countries have met at Europol headquarters for the conference to discuss and come up with a coordinated approach to fight the dark web crimes.
The dark web
The so called the dark web is a section the internet which is not accessible by use standard or common bowsers. However, it access is possible through a special type of browser called ‘Tor Browser’ that ensures navigation in the web is anonymous masking important details such as identity and browsing location.
The dark web therefore facilitates a good environment for the creation of illegal online marketplaces where illicit products and services such as drugs and weapons are traded by individuals and groups of criminals. Illegal packages are procured on the dark web, paid for through cryptocurrencies and delivered to the potential customers through mails.
The conference in Netherlands, The Hague, includes major stakeholders from the European Union, Eurojust, Interpol, law enforcement agents, electronic and cyber crime experts from over 28 nations around the world. The discussion is on how best different government can work together by sharing expertise and finance to pursue the notorious dark web criminals, collaboratively with the Europol recently established Anti-Dark web Crime Unit.
Europol approach in fighting the dark web criminals
The Europol approach to the fight against criminals on the dark web involves coming up with a well-coordinated operation between the third parties, relevant partners and national law enforcement agencies which involves sharing of intelligence, information and expertise.
At the conference, the organization enacted a dark web special investigations team that will oversee dark web operations by sharing information and expertise, providing general operational and technical support in different dark web crime areas as well as planning and developing tools necessary for conducting investigations.
The dark web unit is under the control command of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center and will operate through its structural framework when it comes to sharing of information with other partners. Europol sought a commitment from other agencies across the globe in order to facilitate a greater operation capabilities.
All the stakeholders in attendance were excited and welcomed the progress by Europol at the conference towards expanding capabilities to other actors in combatting the dark web criminals and their illegal marketplaces. Spiridonov Ivaylo, of the Bulgarian General Directorate Combatting Organized Crime, outlined his hope for the meeting.
“Today’s experts meeting will further move law enforcement’s capacity to find more sustainable solutions to what is a major threat today and a common approach to it in responding to criminality on the dark web will be a big step to start with,” he said.
The executive director of Europol Catherine De Bolle, added: “This conference equally marks the official launching of the new Europol Dark Web Unit which will take the lead and provide technical and operation support to other law enforcement agencies in reducing criminality on the anonymous dark web in a multidisciplinary and coordinated manner.”