Interpol Group Wants More Cooperation against Cybercrime in Latin America

By Dialogo
September 06, 2011

The countries of Latin America should adjust their legislation and increase their cooperation in order to respond more effectively to cybercrime, the chair of INTERPOL’s Latin American Working Party on Information Technology Crime, the Argentine Miguel Angel Justo, said.

After inaugurating the eleventh meeting of the Working Party, in Montevideo, Justo, a top-ranking officer of the Argentine Federal Police, told AFP that “the ongoing challenge is international cooperation.”

“There’s no technology that can make progress against cybercrime without international cooperation, due to the very nature of the dynamic entity that is the internet,” Justo stressed, judging that this is the only way to overcome the difficulty of defining jurisdictions when it comes time to investigate an offense of this kind.

Cooperation “at present is perhaps not the ideal to which we aspire,” he admitted. “We believe that the odd legislative issue does need to be adjusted, but in order to alleviate this lack of legislation, the effort that we’re making at the regional level, within the INTERPOL framework, is sufficient,” he added.

Justo explained that the nature of offenses of this kind makes it very difficult to apply traditional legal provisions. Along those lines, he gave the example that in the majority of countries in the region, internet service providers are not required to retain information for a specified period of time, with the result that each one does so in accordance with its financial resources and its sense of social responsibility.

“So there are times when, since there’s no requirement, the information needed to pursue an investigation is not available,” he indicated.

“This happens in the vast majority of countries; very few have legislation on the subject, because originally, I believe that they didn’t think that the internet was going to explode in the way it did. At some point, it’s going to be necessary to regulate it, so that this technology can be managed in an orderly way,” he maintained.

From August 31 to September 2, representatives of the investigative units dedicated to fighting cybercrime in each country in the group will exchange information about new kinds of crime using the internet and ways to fight them.

The group is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, Spain, France, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay, the United States, and Uruguay.