This post was written by Cynthia O’Donoghue.

In a communication from the European Commission to the Council and European Parliament, the Commission proposes establishing a European Cybercrime Centre (“EC3”) to be part of Europol to “act as the focal point in the fight against cybercrime in the EU”. In its communication, the Commission highlights the total cost of cybercrime to global society as significant, and indicates that no crime is as borderless as cybercrime.

Cybercrime is identified as a high-profit but low-risk form of criminal activity that is becoming increasingly common as we become more of an Internet-based society, using the Internet daily to connect with friends on social networks, or to bank online or do business over the Internet. Cybercrime spans a vast range of offences from identity theft to child sexual abuse to computer fraud and credit card scams which affect EU citizens on a day-to-day basis, and one which is a top priority for the European Commission. There has been some progress and coordinated efforts to tackle cybercrime, but there are still several obstacles to the effective investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes, including jurisdictional boundaries, technical difficulties, and inconsistent cooperation and intelligence-sharing between agencies. The new EC3 will attempt to tackle these obstacles in the fight against cybercrime.

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