Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Reece Kershaw has accused un-named nations of helping organized criminals to use technology to commit and launder the proceeds of crime, and called for international collaboration to developer technologies that counter the threats that behaviour creates.
Kershaw’s remarks were made at a meeting of the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG), the forum in which members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing pact – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the USA – discuss policing and related matters. Kershaw is the current chair of FELEG.
“Criminals have weaponized technology and have become ruthlessly efficient at finding victims,” Kerhsaw told the group, before adding : “State actors and citizens from some nations are using our countries at the expense of our sovereignty and economies.”
Innovators and tech pioneers are the future of law enforcement
The commissioner suggested that un-named nations know that their lack of financial regulations enable organized crime to launder money. Some nations also allow the manufacture of chemicals used to create drugs.
COVID-19 made matters worse.
“The threat of terrorism has not dissipated,” Kershaw said. “Like the child predators who are finding more victims online because of lockdowns, those with extremists’ views are using the pandemic to recruit and spread their misinformation.
Kershaw suggested Five Eyes law enforcement agencies need to develop more technology to fight back. He cited operation Ironside, the joint AFP/FBI effort to create a backdoored chat app promoted to criminals as super-secure, as the kind of required to combat crime.
While we will always need the muscle to kick down the door, our brains’ trust – like our innovators and our tech pioneers – are among the future of law enforcement.
“This is where FELEG can come into its own by supercharging the technology and innovation needed to identify and disrupt offenders, wherever they are in the world,” Kershaw said. “By working in ways in which we have not done so before, it allows us to think globally and deliver a global blow.”
“And let’s not discount the psychological effect we have on organized crime when they know the Five Eyes is watching.”