As criminals increasingly adopt the Crime-as-a-Service model, getting easy access to tools and services for digitally-enabled crimes, law enforcement authorities face a highly complex challenge when conducting criminal investigations online.
To address this challenge, and to better support EU Member States’ investigations on the internet, Europol officially launched the SIRIUS platform during a kick-off meeting in The Hague on 30 and 31 October 2017.
SIRIUS is a secure web platform for law enforcement professionals, which allows them to share knowledge, best practices and expertise in the field of internet-facilitated crime investigations, with a special focus on counter-terrorism. It offers an innovative collaborative approach by providing investigators with a platform to quickly and efficiently exchange know-how, manuals and advice, as well as tools to help them analyse the information received by the different online service providers. The platform also addresses other challenges in criminal investigations, such as streamlining the requests to online service providers, and improving the quality of the responsive record.
SIRIUS aims to foster the co-development of tools and solutions that can support internet-based investigations. To this end, Europol will organise a bi-annual codefest meeting at its headquarters in The Hague, which will bring together law enforcement experts in computer programming to jointly develop common tools and solutions.
Generated by the political impetus of the EU Internet Forum and the European Commission’s work on cross-border access to electronic evidence, the SIRIUS platform was proposed as a practical solution, addressing the demand for an online information and support portal at EU level.
The SIRIUS kick-off meeting, held at Europol headquarters, gathered over 100 professionals from 30 countries and more than 60 different organisations, including law enforcement and government authorities in the EU Member States and third partners, as well as representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Uber.
This annual SIRIUS meeting and the bi-annual codefest events demonstrate Europol’s commitment to being at the forefront of innovation to support internet-facilitated crime investigations.