Fighting the internet's worst scum isn't an easy job, but someone has to step up and do it

The open nature of the internet is its greatest strength, as it brings together people from around the globe and allows for the relatively cheap transfer of ideas, values and technology. However, the open nature of the internet is often subject to abuse by criminals who use it for criminal acts such as child sexual exploitation, organized crime and terrorism.

In an era where criminals are increasingly turning to the internet for victims, the police began to ramp up their efforts to hunt criminals in the virtual world.  Interpol recently arrested an internet child predator based on high-tech digital imaging techniques, and the FBI has implemented an advanced internet driven bulletin board to help it catch crooks.

Now a group of elite cyber cops is upping its efforts to stomp out crime around the globe.  The group, which calls itself the Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group met this month in London to formulate plans to best fight crime on the digital frontier.  The unit is composed of high caliber agents from the FBI and law enforcement agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  The group, founded in 2006, seeks to squelch cyber crime by sharing intelligence information, tools, best practices, and lobbying to strengthen and synchronize international cyber laws. 

One of the groups current accomplishments is the development of a comprehensive analysis of new and emerging threats as well as the state of current cybercrime on the internet.  The group has also had success in helping protect against leaks of vital records over p2p networks.  It also has developed an organized curriculum to help train future crime fighters.

The group certainly has a tough fight ahead.  A recent report by the Government Accountability Office states that the U.S.'s computer-driven critical infrastructure is severely vulnerable to attacks from terrorists or countries such as China, which is known to employ large armies of freelance hackers, in addition to its army's cyber unit.

One difficulty the unit faces is that cybercrime often goes unrecognized and unreported.  While it is known that many lawbreakers have turned to the internet as a source of illegal revenue, the exact scope of their actions is often unknown.  By sharing tools and training, the group hopes to reduce this problem and raise awareness.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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