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Swiss revel in reporting Internet crime

A special Internet police unit is being swamped by tip-offs from the public denouncing suspected criminal websites.

Source: NZZ Online
Date: August 16, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime Since the beginning of the year, 3,600 complaints have been lodged with the Swiss Coordination Unit for Cybercrime Control (Cycos).

Half of the complaints concerned websites carrying pornographic content and half of these depicted hardcore acts.

Other objections addressed spam emails, racist and extremist sites and infringement of copyright.

Spokesman Philipp Kronig told swissinfo that many complainants were "well-informed surfers, with a feeling for what is acceptable on the Internet".

"Many have a strong sense of civic duty and feel that a 'clean' world wide web is a must,"Kronig added.

A total of 41 cases are currently under criminal investigation, 26 of which are related to child pornography.

Cycos is using special software to analyse the thousands of tip-offs in an effort to identify whether Swiss laws have been broken by the offending websites.

Cycos also has to establish a Swiss connection in order to be able to pursue a case. However, more than 90 per cent of the complaints received between January and August this year concerned foreign content.

The unit has been operational since January 2003 and is staffed with police officers, lawyers, Internet and information security specialists and criminologists.

The launch of Cycos came just four months after the Swiss authorities launched their biggest-ever investigation into child pornography on the Internet.

More than 800 people were arrested in a nationwide sweep after the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations identified more than 1,100 suspects including local officials, schoolteachers and high-ranking civil servants.

Original article at: http://nzz.ch

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