As criminals increasingly adopt the Crime-as-a-Service model, gaining easy access to tools and services for digitally-enabled crimes, law enforcement authorities face a highly complex challenge when conducting criminal investigations online. To address this challenge, and better support EU Member States’ investigations on the Internet, Europol has now launched the SIRIUS platform.
SIRIUS is a secure web platform for law enforcement professionals allowing them to share knowledge, Best Practice and expertise in the field of Internet-facilitated crime investigations, with a special focus on counter-terrorism. It offers an innovative and collaborative approach by providing investigators with a platform to quickly and efficiently exchange know-how, manuals and advice, as well as tools to help them analyse the information received by the different online service providers.
The platform also addresses other challenges in criminal investigations, such as streamlining the requests to online service providers and improving the quality of the responsive record.
SIRIUS aims to foster the co-development of tools and solutions that can support Internet-based investigations. To this end, Europol will organise a bi-annual ‘codefest’ meeting at its headquarters in The Hague. This will bring together law enforcement experts in computer programming to jointly develop common tools and solutions.
Generated by the political impetus of the EU Internet Forum and the European Commission’s ongoing work on cross-border access to electronic evidence, the SIRIUS platform was proposed as a practical solution, addressing the demand for an online information and support portal at EU level.
The SIRIUS kick-off meeting, held at Europol’s headquarters, gathered over 100 professionals from 30 countries and more than 60 different organisations, including law enforcement and Government authorities in the EU Member States as well as representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Uber.
This annual SIRIUS meeting and the bi-annual ‘codefest’ events demonstrate Europol’s commitment to being at the forefront of innovation and supporting Internet-facilitated crime investigations.