The EU's law enforcement agency, Europol, has launched an international cybercrime task force called J-CAT (Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce).
J-CAT is a venture initiated by the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the FBI, and the NCA (National Crime Agency). Currently Austria, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, the US, Australia and Colombia have committed to J-CAT.
The head of the European Cybercrime Centre, Troels Oerting, said "For the first time in modern police history a multi-lateral permanent cybercrime taskforce has been established in Europe to coordinate investigations against top cybercriminal networks. The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce will operate from secure offices in Europol's HQ assisted by experts and analysts from the European Cybercrime Centre." He concluded that J-CAT is "confident we will see practical tangible results very soon."
The task force will be headed by Andy Archibald, head of the National Cyber Crime Unit, said "There are many challenges faced by law enforcement agencies with regards to cyber criminals and cyber attacks. This is why there needs to be a truly holistic and collaborative approach taken when tackling them."
Europol said in a statement that the J-CAT will focus on combating "malware coding, testing, distribution, Botnets, Crime-as-a-Service, online fraud, intrusion and similar top-end crimes."
The J-CAT programme is likely to run for an initial six month period and will work with security experts in the private sector as well as the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU.
Considering the privacy scandals with the US's NSA and the UK's GCHQ, what privacy concerns will J-CAT's mission for "an open, transparent, free but also safe Internet" have?