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Interpol exec calls for more biometrics sharing to combat cross-border crime surge

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement
Interpol exec calls for more biometrics sharing to combat cross-border crime surge

Speaking at a recent event in London, Stephen Kavanagh, executive director of police services at Interpol, warned of a “new era” of cross-border crime fueled by advanced encryption technologies and systemic corruption, the National News reports.

Kavanagh emphasized in his address that terrorists are increasingly using sophisticated encryption methods and other techniques to evade detection and coordination by law enforcement agencies. He tells the National that Interpol should have more access to biometrics to counter these evasion methods.

Kavanagh was nominated as candidate for Secretary General of Interpol in November, 2023. He highlighted the growing challenge this poses to international security, pointing out that traditional methods of surveillance and intelligence gathering are often rendered ineffective against encrypted communications. The candidate is calling for enhanced international cooperation and technological innovation to combat these evolving threats.

Corruption within governmental and financial institutions, according to Kavanagh, provides terrorists with the means to move funds and procure resources without detection, facilitating not only the planning and execution of attacks but also the sustainment of their operations over time.

Kavanagh’s remarks come amid growing concerns about the intersection of technology and terrorism. Recent reports have shown that terrorist groups are increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies and encrypted messaging apps to fundraise and coordinate activities.

In a recent address, Kavanagh, says: “Law enforcement needs to connect more effectively; it needs to use data in a way that courts will accept, and we’ve seen the use of better biometrics. Understanding how that can be used to identify individuals better use of technologies such as machine learning to look at bulk data. I’ve gone through a lot of experience, whether that’s in London being responsible for the 20,000 response officers during London’s riots, whether it’s commander of counterterrorism, whether it’s being responsible for the Ghost Squads around anti corruption, or whether it’s turning Essex police around.”

Interpol’s call to action includes advocating for better resource allocation to law enforcement agencies to equip them with the necessary tools to tackle encrypted communications and corruption.

Last year, it was announced that Idemia will be supplying fingerprint and facial recognition software to Interpol to aid in police investigations and border control functions, as part of the international law enforcement body’s Biometric Hub.

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