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Eurojust Strategic Meeting on Cybercrime

The Hague, 30 October 2008

On 23 and 24 October 2008, Eurojust held a strategic meeting on cybercrime in Athens, Greece, supported by the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Hellenic Republic.

The term cybercrime is conventionally used to describe a criminal activity in which a computer or a network plays an essential role. Cybercrime takes place when the computer is a tool of the criminal activity (e.g. spamming, copyright crimes perpetrated through peer-to-peer networks, etc.);when the computer or the network is the target of the crime, such as unauthorised access or malicious code; or when the computer or the network is located where the criminal activity actually occurs, such as telecommunications fraud; finally, cybercrime could be facilitated through the use of computers or networks (e.g. fraud, hacking, phishing, child pornography, identity theft, etc.).

With the objective of addressing the issues mentioned above, Eurojust and the Hellenic authorities jointly hosted the strategic meeting, as a result of both the international interest and concern about the topic and the co-operation and co-ordination activities carried out by Eurojust in fighting this type of crime.

The strategic meeting was opened with welcome speeches by H.E. Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Minister of Interior of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Constantinos Gletsos, General Secretary of the Justice Ministry representing the Minister, Mr José Luís Lopes da Mota, President and National Member for Portugal at Eurojust, Mr Dimitrios Kenelopoulos, Vice-President of the Supreme Court of the Hellenic Republic, Mr George Sanidas, Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Mr Marios Tsakas, Special Secretary of the Special Investigations’ Service, representing the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Hellenic Republic, Athens, and Mr Lampros Patsavellas, National Member for Greece at Eurojust. Keynote speakers were prosecutors, judicial and cybercrime specialists, academics, and police officers from Europe and the USA. More then 120 participants attended the meeting and exchanged experiences on the current status of the fight against all forms of cybercrime and the available means to prevent and combat it.

At the end of the strategic meeting, Mr Patsavellas commented: “This event gathered experts and practitioners on cybercrime issues from the 27 EU Member States, the United States, Norway and other international organisations such as the UNODC, the Council of Europe, the European Commission and even private entities who have a common interest in fighting all forms of cybercrime. With this event we explored the different meanings and forms of cybercrime where the computer or network is used as a source, tool, target or place of the crime. During this two-day seminar, I received very positive and enthusiastic feedback from the majority of the participants about the usefulness of the seminar and about the work that Eurojust is carrying out in fighting cybercrime as well as words of encouragement to continue our active work in combating this serious form of criminality.”

Mr Lopes da Mota commented: “This strategic meeting was very interesting and helpful. At Eurojust, we are prosecutors, not IT specialists; therefore, we need to acquire more insight into cybercrime. We need to know how criminal networks use cyberspace and use it ourselves to combat crime. This meeting was only a first step: at Eurojust we are focusing on this growing problem and on facing these new challenges.”