Europol introduces all-new SIRIUS platform in bid to facilitate online investigations

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.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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