“NET problem”

Russia’s intelligence services got connected to the secret information bases of the Interpol.

Our police have a considerable amount of experience collaborating with their foreign colleagues. Now, it will be expanded by means of electronic communication

Yesterday, the European Union officially gave Russia online access to the special databases of the International Criminal Police Investigation (Interpol). Foreign criminals – be they terrorists, pedophiles, or other criminals – will no longer be able to enter Russia incognito.

Meanwhile, a car theft case in Paris, for example, will instantly become known to even the traffic police in Vladivostok. This is where the main innovation to the system lies: information is being distributed electronically, and law enforcement agencies across the country have access to this information, without any time consuming enquiries or bureaucracy.

Moreover, it was not only Russia’s police that received the passwords to access Interpol’s electronic databases. They are joined by the Prosecutor General of Russia, the Investigating Committee, and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB). The European Union allocated €3 million for the project. This money was used to equip 39 branches of Interpol’s national branches under the Interior Ministry of Russia, with systems of remote access to Interpol’s databases. Currently, work is being done on technically connecting these systems with the internal telecommunications network of the police, so that, figuratively speaking, even the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky district officers could verify information with Interpol, without any delays or complications.

However, there is one subtle nuance: the law forbids connecting the internal local networks of law enforcement agencies and intelligence services with any outside sources, which is understandable. However, technically, it is possible to resolve this problem to allow the blocked networks to stay closed to outside sources while being able to receive any vital information from the outside.

Besides, the European police also do not disclose all of their information in the shared database. Yesterday, the Executive Director of the General Secretariat of Interpol, Jean-Michel Louboutin, explained during the presentation of the project that there are several levels of access. For example, if in one region the law enforcement is investigating one criminal group, then the case information of the operatives remains classified.

The database holds data on stolen vehicles, stolen and missing passports, and wanted criminals. According to representatives of Interpol, there are currently 19 million records in the electronic files.

While the system has been running in test mode, law enforcement agencies managed to locate 300 vehicles which were stolen abroad on Russian territory. In the future, these cars will be immobilized at the border. For this reason, the Federal Customs Service of Russia and the Border Guard Service of Russia are connecting to the system. The possibility of introducing mobile terminals with access to the Interpol database is being discussed; this will allow every traffic cop to verify information on any stopped car with the European database. As for the stolen vehicles that have been registered in the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate (STSI) units, they will be identified automatically – in every sense of the word.

Russian traffic police are connecting to the global police network. Thus, an offender who is wanted internationally will not be able to purchase domestic air or train tickets without going unnoticed.

“The I-24/7 global communication system, to which Russian law enforcement agencies were granted access, is one of the key mechanisms of Interpol, which allows police agencies around the world to quickly and securely share information,” a representative of the European Commission in Russia explained to Rossiyskaya Gazeta (RG).

Yesterday the office of the European Commission hosted a presentation of the new network systems. All the financial work was concluded; the West helped Russia as much as they could. In the future, Russia will continue to develop similar systems. Yesterday, Interpol representatives learned another way the police information can be used. For example, say a certain pedophile who has long been followed by the European law enforcement bought a ticket to Russia. Seemingly, he did not do anything illegal – at least for now. In order to avoid any misfortunate situations, the Russian police will be able to take him under surveillance at the airport.

Direct speech

“This system has enabled us to organize our interaction with the police forces of other countries on a qualitatively different level,” said Timur Lakhonin, head of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. “We plan to further develop and modernize this system. In the future, all branches of the Interpol NCB in Russia will have a direct access to the electronic telecommunications system of Interpol. Moreover, the system keeps track of who made an inquiry and when.”

In the future, all employees of the Ministry of Interior branches, who in one way or another work on solving international crime, will receive access to Interpol’s informational databases. An exchange of information will be organized with the immigration, customs and border patrol authorities. The criminals will be made to feel that they cannot abscond justice.”

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