Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) still rely largely on manually collecting data from the internet for identifying wildlife cybercrime, a very labour and time-intensive exercise. Technology is often regarded as a potential game-changer in this area. There is an untapped potential for automated data analytical tools to provide relevant information. Beyond accelerating and improving their monitoring activities, these tools could help practitioners to draw up a more comprehensive picture of the true scale and nature of wildlife cybercrime in the EU, including identification of where it occurs on the internet and which species are most affected. Developing this picture is important for supporting investigations, for governments to develop a sense of how best to respond, and for effective engagement with the online technology companies whose platforms are unwittingly being used.
This report offers a general assessment of how technology can support LEAs in their daily efforts to address wildlife cybercrime. Section 1 includes a series of key definitions, as necessary background to understand the potential of the different types of solutions discussed. Sections 2 and 3 provide a non-exhaustive overview of a series of advanced tools that could help law enforcement officials to counter wildlife cybercrime.
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