Romania, host of the European Ministers of Internal Affairs
Recently, in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, The Romanian Parliament has organized the informal meeting of the Ministers of Internal Affairs of the EU Member States. The agenda included topics about terrorism, police cooperation, Schengen area, asylum and migration. During the event, the press had the opportunity to visit the Border Police Coordination Center and the Integrated Municipal Center for Emergency Situations.
Migration, one step closer to identify the right solutions
Starting from the Commission’s proposal to achieve "temporary arrangements" limited in time, which could serve as solutions until the time of the implementation of the Dublin Regulation, the Ministers of Internal Affairs held open and constructive talks in Bucharest. The Romanian Presidency will continue its efforts to identify solutions in the field of migration. As part of the efforts to reduce illegal migration flows to the EU, the external dimension of migration, as well as cooperation with countries that are not part of the European Union is a priority. When it was adopted in May 2015, the European Agenda regarding Migration proposed tackling the migratory crisis by presenting solutions to all aspects of the migratory phenomenon, aiming to obtain results from the combined effects of such solutions. A key element is the Common European Asylum System package is the Dublin Regulation to be amended. Although many achievements have been recorded at all levels, the efforts must be continued to create an instrument that is resilient to future crises.
"While facing the multiple problems arisen by the illegal migration, a single solution is needed to respond to all the concerns raised at the level of the states of the EU. In this moment we do not need antagonistic solutions fueling populism, extremism and disrupting political cohesion within the EU. Surely, it is needed to be constructive, to find a commonground based on a consensus. Migration should represent a vector of development for each Member State and not a burden” - Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs, Carmen Dan.
Let’s make Schengen work!
The discussions held during lunchtime were dedicated to one of the most important achievements of the European integration - the Schengen area, recognized as one of the key instruments by which European citizens can exercise their liberties, and the internal market can be developed and thrive.
In this regard, discussions have been conducted around short and medium term measures that Member States deem necessary in order to restore the proper functioning of this area whose performance is affected by crises generated by terrorism and migration, as recently experienced by the Union. “Besides the representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, who constantly sustained the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Area, there were ministries of Member States who stated that the discussion about the future of the Schengen Area must, necessarily, include the situation of Romania and Bulgaria”, highlighted the minister Carmen Dan.
In the last decade, the conflicts in the different regions of the world or in the neighborhood of the EU have led to major challenges for its internal security and the management of the external borders, questioning the good functioning of the Schengen Area, of the free movement and its benefits for the European citizens and the European economy.
The increase of the terrorist threats over the last years in many Member States, demonstrated that a strenghthnening of the internal security of the EU it’s mandatory, including new measures to assure a better coordination of the consolidation efforts of the European space of free movement.
Considering this, the European Commission has permanently launched proposals to improve the measures at the external borders and inside its internal area, to introduce modern technologies for the use of the national authorities and the law enforcement agencies and to develop new systems or the existent ones.
Police activity in a connected world
The ministries of interior discussed about the opportunities provided by the exchange of knowledge regarding the management of digital data between law enforcement agencies, to keep up with the dynamics of the criminal environment in a digital era.
Based on the experiences of the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS), Europol should be able to develop and to apply an IT common procedure and cooperative platform for the exchange of knowledge regarding the management of digital data. It would be possible to maximize the use of available resources, avoid overlapping of the efforts of the member states and the European agencies, benefiting in the same time by the common knowledge and experience regarding the fast reaction of the law enforcement agencies to the cybercrime or facilitated by the cyber environment. Developing an integrated environment for the exchange of knowledge regarding digital data requires for the allocation of adequate resources, as requested by the European Council at the end of last year.
United against terrorism
The ministerial meeting in Bucharest provided for a constructive exchange of opinions regarding the recommendations in the report of the European Parliament`s Terrorism Commission. Best practices of combating terrorism have been shared, as it is an increasingly threatening presence in everyday life of the European citizens. As a result, the Romanian Presidency assumed as a priority the identification of solutions meant to enhance cooperation and exchange of best practices between the Member States aiming to prevent and combat this phenomenon.
Back to back with the high level European meeting, the specialists of the Central Information Analysis Unit and National Forensic Institute have participated at many meetings (Corners) on information analysis or on matters regarding the use of automated data as part of the probation material. Among the first themes we mention: "Navigating the Digital Waves", "Digital path", "Computer data - how to detect domestic violent thefts", "How computer data contribute to the identification of the author of a multiple car accident", "Dangers of the virtual modern space - the ransomware or the recovery of stolen or corrupted data."
The meeting of police specialized in intelligence analysis
In the case of the first "corner", it was discussed how law enforcement agencies tackle crime in a borderless Europe or how it manages the criminality in the context of the Internet of Things or of Individuals. If, by now the channel through which information could be stolen was purely human, lately, electronic goods - televisions, smart clocks, refrigerators, mobile phones or even cars - are connected to this virtual space. On the other hand, open sources of information must not be neglected in the fight against threats of any kind.
In the second group, there have been discussions on the skills used to identify, track and monitor mobile groups of offenders across Europe, using and sharing experience, operational analysis tools, digital geographic data from open or closed sources. For this, dedicated European police teams and analysts shared their information resources, pursuing offenders in the virtual world, mixing the new methods with the classic, specialized ones to understand, analyze, react and prevent crime.
The third topic of discussion was, as said, virtual thieves who can enter our homes without forcing doors or windows while using internet connected to our electronics and studying our habits in order to identify security breaches. The answer in combat and capture is information analysis units that corroborate digital or electronic samples with classical physical ones to provide for a powerful and undisputed evidence in court to the field and case officers. In short, the power of the intelligence-led policing concept.
Another topic was "The contribution of computer data to the identification of an author of a multiple car accident”. The idea resulted from a case last year in Bucharest when a man caused a car crash, destroying six cars and injuring three people. Corroborating open and closed sources, analytical techniques and methods, information about the identity and residence of the author, as well as the information reports they received, Romanian policemen managed to arrest the suspect. The last theme, "Data rebuy - Modern Cyber Threat" refers to the use of a type of virus or computer program that encrypts the content of computers or computer memories and unblocks them after receiving a ransom, while accessing certain information and followed by the threat of publishing them. The difficulty in prosecuting computer criminals has also increased due to the use of digital coins such as Ukash or other crypto-currencies as ransom.
Data rebuy has been identified as a top offence by Europol - IOCTA (Internet Organized Crimes Threat Assessment) since last year. The criminal procedure seriously affects citizens and business all over the world. The Romanian police "captured" a GrandCrab malware comand and control server, specialists identifying over 45,000 victims. Also the cyber officers have developed a decryption software which helped thousands of people to recover their data out of the infected systems.
JHA informal meeting - experience exchange of the forensic specialists
The Forensics Corner held on the occasion of the meeting of the European ministers of interior at the Parliament Palace, the focus was on the new approach of the crime scene search. We have to take into consideration that the crime scene which needs to be analyzed, is more complex nowadays, apart from the biological materials or physical traces, being necessary to identify electronic or computer proof often virtual or volatile. There was talks about “Digital Data Forensic Process”, as it is called the new forensic technic, which has as object of examination and scientific analysis the computer controlled household goods.