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Macau Should Observe Illegal Online Gambling

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/08/2010

Alexandra Lages, Macau Daily Times

Macau is doing well in combatting cybercrime, thanks to its experienced team of experts and recently enacted legislation that is in line with international standards. However, according to visiting cybercrime expert, Marco Gercke, the local authorities must pay more attention to illegal online gambling.

Marco Gercke, director of the Cybercrime Research Institute of Germany and lecturer at the University of Cologne, Germany, is in Macau until Monday leading a seminar on "Computer and Internet Crimes: Recent Trends and Legal Responds", together with Gunhild Scheer, lawyer and head of the Strategy and Development Section of the research institute.

A total of 67 participants have enrolled in the 5-day session, which is part of the second EU-Macau Co-operation Programme in the Legal Field, organized by the Legal and Judicial Training Centre.

The cybercrime expert spoke to MDTimes and touched on the recent trends and challenges of fighting cybercrime.

 

MDT - You are in Macau to give a seminar on computer and Internet crimes. What is the current situation of cybercrime worldwide?

Marco Gercke - With nearly two billion Internet users worldwide and more users in developing countries than in the developed countries the impact of cybercrime is global. We see new threats and new methods developed on a very frequent basis.

MDT - What are the main crimes being committed in cyberspace?

M.G. - Traditional crimes committed by using Internet services such as auction fraud and advance fee fraud remain of great importance in the crime statics. The same is relevant with regard to the exchange of child pornography. But we also see a growing number of sophisticated attacks against computer systems and terrorist use of the Internet.

MDT - What are the main challenges in the fight against cybercrime? Are the current international laws sufficient?

M.G. - There are several challenges related to the fight against cybercrime ranging from the transnational dimensions of most cybercrime, to difficulties in the investigation if the offenders are using encryption technology or means of anonymous communication. With regard to the international standards, there is an ongoing debate if the existing regional frameworks are sufficient to address the issue. During the United Nations Crimes Congress that will take place in Brazil next week, the question if a global convention is necessary will be discussed. The four regional preparatory meetings for the congress called for such an instrument.

Marco Gercke: ‘Macau has recently implemented legislation that is in line with international standards and enables law enforcement to take action if crimes are committed'

MDT - What should be done to strengthen the authorities' ability to combat cybercrime?

M.G. - It is very important to focus on three aspects: the development of adequate legislation; training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers; and finally, awareness raising campaigns. Without globally implemented adequate legislation and well-trained experts, investigations cannot be carried out.

MDT - The number of computer and Internet crimes is increasing in Macau and the relevant legislation is relatively recent. What are your thoughts about that?

M.G. - Macau has recently implemented legislation that is in line with international standards and enables law enforcement to take action if crimes are committed. But certainly the protection of the gambling sector from illegal online gambling and the larger number of users using wireless services are issues that will remain on the list of topics for observation of developments in the future.

MDT - Do you have any recommendation to the local authorities?

M.G. - There are excellent experts working for the local authorities that have been dealing with the issue of computer crime and cybercrime for a long time now, so I do not think that advice from my side is required. But I would certainly encourage them to continue their approach with regard to the participation in the international debate about threats and solutions.

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