Experts to examine the influence of cyberspace on criminal activities and responses to them

The internet – challenges and opportunities for JHA agencies

Leading European and international experts will meet in Lisbon on 20–21 April for meetings around the theme of ‘The expanding influence of the internet, the exploitation of cyberspace and the transformational nature of new technologies’ (1). The events are hosted by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) as current chair of a network of nine EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies (‘JHA agencies’ network’)(2).

The JHA agencies’ network was established in 2006 to boost cooperation in the migration and security fields. The nine agencies work together on a wide range of issues, including combating organised crime — such as human and drug trafficking — as well as migration and border management. The network has chosen the use of cyberspace for criminal purposes as its overarching theme for 2017.

On 20 April, an expert meeting, gathering some 20 participants, will focus on the ‘The internet for criminal purposes — challenges and opportunities for the work of the JHA agencies’. The event will allow for an exchange of experience on how cyberspace has influenced criminal activities and responses to them and to identify challenges and future issues. Two working group sessions will focus on cyber-enabled crime and law enforcement, and monitoring the internet (including darknet markets).

A larger conference on 21 April, bringing together over 50 participants, will be opened by EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel. A total of seven keynote speakers will address the conference across the following sessions:

  • Internet — the big picture
  • Cybercrime: clarifying the concept and shedding light on law-enforcement responses
  • Monitoring open source intelligence, darknet markets and social media

Speaking ahead of the conference, Alexis Goosdeel said: ‘Communication tool, information repository, training channel or marketplace? The internet today means many things to many people. While it offers countless opportunities to boost legitimate business, it also facilitates transnational organised crime. This is why this event is so important. Addressing a raft of issues, from drug supply on darknet markets to implications for migration, it will offer a wealth of informed perspectives. Crucially, it will also explore how the JHA agencies can better develop joined-up actions to respond to the common challenges posed by the internet and new technologies today’.