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Today extremists, terrorists and organized criminals all use Internet for communication:Jens Henrik Højbjerg 

Today extremists, terrorists and organized criminals all use Internet for communication:Jens Henrik Højbjerg

Denmark’s Commissioner of PoliceJens Henrik Højbjerg, in a brief interview with the Oslo Times International News Network’s Editor in Chief, Hatef Mokhtar, spoke about the internet and how it is being used in various criminal activities like human trafficking, hacking into banking systems and so forth.

The excerpts below give us an insight into the efforts made by the Police Force in the Nordic Region, to curb and prevent cyber crimes:

Can you tell us about this conference?
Yes, its been a very important conference, where all the Nordic countries have come together to discuss both on a strategic and on a more concrete level about the threat from cyber crimes, how we deal with it, how we organize our work and how we cooperate. This is an area where cooperation is key, both at the Nordic as well as at the international level.

We keep hearing reports about human traffickers using Internet to traffic people across borders. Isn’t there anything the police can do to ban such usage of Internet?
Yes, it’s an area where all of us need to professionalize, our investigative teams must have the right tools and instruments and a competent team of IT experts. By this I mean we need a good traditional investigative team and a team of IT specialists, who can complement the traditional investigative team.
What characterizes this kind of criminality is that it goes beyond borders, so we need to extend cooperation with teams from other countries, we need more involvement of the Interpol and Europol in solving these crimes.

Various reports on Internet claim that many extremist groups are using Internet to brainwash youngsters into joining their cause. How does the police department handle such crimes?

This is another dimension of cyber threats. Today extremists, terrorists and organized criminals all use Internet for communication and also to radicalize people. It has become a good medium for them. So, we have to be very much careful of these things and the security service should know what is going on over there. We need to patrol the cyber space. We can’t just patrol our streets; we also need to be present on the cyberspace. Making people responsible for their actions on the cyberspace has become essential. We follow what is going on the cyberspace including social medias. This is the new battle field where we have to be present to keep the people safe.

What kind of cyber attacks pose as problematic for the police force?

Well this is mostly a shared responsibility between the security forces and us. It is very important that we have the right division of responsibilities and it’s equally important that we know what we are doing in this area. There are all kinds of threats coming from the cyber, like threats on the banking systems, etc. There are numerous cyber attacks targets that we have discussed in the conference. It is very difficult to say which is the most eminent threat because it changes all the time. I think we need to be present all over the web be it the dark or the deep web. It’s crucial that we have the right people on board who can collect this enormous amount of data and analyse it so that we can target the criminals and the terrorist groups.This is about handling and balancing a high degree of complexities.

What kind of role can the media play to stop cyber crimes?
I think the media can play crucial role by collaborating with us in running prevention programs. It’s very important that we have a wide alliance with the media to create a platform from where we can make people aware of all the dangers lurking on Internet. We need to raise awareness about the fact that when we are on the internet there are dangers and we need to tell our kids and old people also about this because they are getting more and more dependent on being on the net.
It is about training, it is about knowledge, it is about education and its about making people aware about what its all about and the media can play a crucial role here. It’s important for us to have good relationship with media houses, which can help us in this area. When it comes to controlling and preventing cyber crimes it’s very much about partnership, public-private partnership is very important in this area so that we can work together to curb this challenge.

You said that this was an international effort, so what are your views on countries like Saudi Arabia, North Korea? Are they also helping the international police in this regard?
Yes, we have to cooperate but unlike criminals we have different legislations, rules, jurisdictions and protocols to follow. So there are areas you can cooperate and there are areas where you cant. The challenge here is to find the right channels and the right partners.

Do you have anything that you would like to share with our global readership?
I think it is very important that we discuss the issue related to cyber advantages and threats on all platforms. There are fantastic advantages of using Internet; we can use it to communicate, learn, and teach or to raise awareness about many things. But we also need to understand that like always there is another side to the coin. The cyberspace has its own threats too. Internet is not something new but it is evolving all the time and we need to be aware of all the challenges that come with it and this applies to the media as well.

All Rights Reserved with The Oslo Times

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  • The views and opinions published in this interview belong solely to the interviewee do not represent any view or opinion held by The Oslo Times International News Network. The Oslo Times practices, defends and promotes freedom of expression. The published interview is in accordance with Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.