France Sets Up Cybercrime Unit

PARIS (05/16/2000) - It took almost nine months. The baby was conceived on August 26 by Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. It was born and announced in the Law journal "Le Journal Officiel." Its name? The Central Office to Fight IT-related Crime (OCLCTI).

The purpose of the office is to work cooperatively with the bureau's counterparts around the world and to participate in cybercrime investigations such as network hacking and software piracy. It will also manage a database, participate with international agencies such as Interpol and maintain partnerships with security product retailers.

On May 15, Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement presented the new French Cyberpolice at the opening of the G8 summit on "Security and Trust in Cyberspace." The OCLCTI's purpose is to be a central point for information exchange.

"For offenses that fall under its jurisdiction, the office welcomes any useful information which may help identify or search for delinquents coming from the national police, the gendarmerie (local police) and the border patrol," according to the decree, and to provide them with information on cases which fall under their respective jurisdiction.

The office will have its own team of 30 to 35 investigators. Until now, there were four different offices which dealt with cybercrime, all with limited jurisdictions.

The G8 group of nations include the seven most industrialized nations, plus Russia. The seven nations are France, Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the U.S.

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