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Fwd: TELECOM Digest V17 #299

Ein interessanter Beitrag von der Telecom Digest-list. Ein 
Interpol-Funktionaer laesst die Luft aus den Behauptungen, die Polizei 
waere ohne Abhoermoeglichkeiten verloren.


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Date:        11.02.  19:41
Received:    11.02.  21:47
From:        editor@telecom-digest.org
To:          telecom digest list, ptownson@massis.lcs.mit.edu

TELECOM Digest     Sun, 2 Nov 97 13:40:35 EST    Volume 17 : Issue 299


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From: Rishab Aiyer Ghosh <rishab@dxm.org>
Subject: Interpol on Computer Crime
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 05:09:25 +-5-30


In the context of FBI Director Louis Freeh's statements on computer crime,
here's the Interpol take.


[from American Reporter, the Internet's only daily newspaper,


 Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
 American Reporter Correspondent
 New Delhi, India 

 NEW DELHI -- The impact of the Internet on crime-fighting may not be
as great as some hope, Interpol's top expert on networked computer
crimes has told the American Reporter. Hiroaki Takizawa says
old-fashioned methods of seeking evidence and gathering information
may remain the staple of crimefighters for a long time to come.

Takizawa talked to the American Reporter at the 66th annual General
Assembly of the worldwide crime-fighting organization Interpol
<http://www.interpol-pr.com> in New Delhi last week, where one of the
key topics of the conference was the impact of the Internet on global
crime and enforcement.

In an interview, the top Interpol expert on Internet and computer
crimes, Hiroaki Takizawa, said despite the serious problems being
posed by the Internet to police everywhere, traditional, off-line
evidence gathering and investigation will remain the primary tools of
law enforcement.

Takizawa admitted that strong cryptography and anonymous email make
illicit transactions difficult to monitor or trace through the
Internet. Interpol, he said, is concerned at the spread of
cryptography, but does not advocate legislation banning it.

"What we concentrate on is the implementation of legislation, rather
than legislation itself," said Takizawa, when asked if he favored a
crypto ban. "Police need human and financial resources" to investigate
crime using the Internet, feels Takizawa, more than unenforceable
legislative bans.

Do police make use of intercepted messages much, on a global scale?
"Yes, I think so, yeah," said Takizawa. However, "we don't, we haven't
had many cases" that relied on undecipherable messages as evidence.

"I don't think the Interpol plays an important role so far as
[legislation on] cryptography is concerned," says Takizawa. The
Interpol cannot make binding treaties affecting national law -- "it is
not really a policy developing organization," he said.

Instead, it makes resolutions "from the police point of view" -- and
its members then go home to lobby with their governments. It does not
intend to make any resolutions on cryptography, though. Instead
"[Interpol] will focus on training and coordination" so that police
forces around the world "can develop practical solutions." As for
changing the law, "the OECD<http://www.oecd.org> has started
discussion" on cryptography -- and has come to the conclusion
<http://www.oecd.org/dsti/iccp/crypto_e.html> that crypto bans are not
a good approach.

Interpol finds that an increasing amount of its work involves the Net
or computers in one way or another, and has set up a team to figure
out where police -- and the Interpol -- can have an effective
role. Interpol divides digital crime into three areas: computer crime,
which includes piracy, data-theft and time-theft (computer break-ins);
computer-related crime, which is mainly bank fraud -- "what was a
crime earlier with paper, but is now done with a computer," as
Takizawa says, and pornography.

The third, most recent area that "everyone's talking about now,"
Takizawa said, is what Interpol calls "network crime": the use of the
Internet for transactions that are already illegal -- child
pornography -- or aid illegal activity -- often involving the drug
trade, customs evasion and money laundering.

Takizawa finds that of these network crimes, child pornography and the
use of the Internet as an accessory to child sex abuse -- on-line
advertisements for Asian "sex tours" targeted at Westerners, for
example -- is the easiest to tackle. Stopping the distribution of
pornography itself is harder, though, thanks to the Internet --
"normally [pornography] was checked at the airport and confiscated by
customs, now you just download it by computer" -- so Interpol doesn't
even try, he says.

"Interception [is] impossible," said Takizawa bluntly. 

Instead, Interpol uses the easily searched structure of the Net to
trace material back to its off-line origins. Police aided by
Interpol's global network locate brochures for sex tourism on the Net
much more easily than if they were in print, and follow up with
off-line investigations and arrests, he said. 

The cross-jurisdictional nature of the Net -- and the fact that
countries disagree on precisely what activities are criminal -- is
less of a problem for child pornography than money-laundering.
Takizawa describes a recent case involving Germany and Japan: "from
Germany we received information [on child pornography found online]
pointing to Japan. Through Interpol we [passed] it on to Japan," where
authorities traced the originators and made arrests.

And what about money laundering? Doesn't the prospect of untraceable,
anonymous global electronic commerce on the Internet scare Interpol?

"Well, my counter-question is, have there been so many cases of
 ... [monetary] transactions using [the] Internet?" asks Takizawa.

Perhaps not -- yet. But once you have some form of the digital
currency required for any large-scale electronic commerce, what will
Interpol do about money laundering?

"We don't know," he admits. When cyberpayments are common, Takizawa
adds, "we cannot tell you what's going to happen. Everybody wants to
know that. If you can predict it perhaps you [will] get the Nobel

For an organization sometimes represented as a global police force --
which Interpol is not -- being a coordinating body for 178 national
law enforcement agencies worldwide -- Takizawa's depiction of its
Internet policy is surprisingly tame. His view well may stem from a
basic understanding of the nature of crime, which doesn't occur on the
Internet so much as pass through it. However much criminals use the
Net, says Takizawa, police will always "need more evidence outside the


Rishab Aiyer Ghosh <rishab@dxm.org> is Editor of the New Delhi-based
Indian Techonomist, a popular technology journal. 


End of TELECOM Digest V17 #299

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