Blue Line: Clarification regarding High Tech Crime Operations article
Release Date: Wednesday, September 23 2009, 03:30 PM
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) would like to clarify issues addressed in The Canberra Times today regarding the AFP’s High Tech Crime Operations (HTCO) Unit.
The article related to evidence given to a Parliamentary Committee by the Acting National Manager of HTCO, Neil Gaughan, and related to a specific component within HTCO.
In March 2008, the AFP brought together a number of areas within the organisation to enhance its capability to combat technology enabled crime (TEC), including emerging cyber crime threats.
The AFP granted The Canberra Times comprehensive briefings and a tour of the HTCO in Canberra. The briefings involved specific details relating to the extensive resources available to the AFP HTCO in investigating cyber crimes.
While it would not be appropriate for the AFP to comment on the exact staffing numbers dedicated to operational activity, the AFP draws on extensive national and international resources to combat cyber crime.
The AFP also combats the various forms of internet crime in partnership with state, territory and international law enforcement agencies, government organisations and industry.
The AFP employs a diverse workforce dedicated to investigating all types of internet crime. AFP members are deployed across varying crime types as needs are identified.
This information was provided to The Canberra Times prior to the article being published.
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus has stated publicly that combating internet crime will remain a focus.
Since the creation of HTCO, in March 2008, significant operational successes include:
Operation Furious: Commenced in December 2008, the AFP executed more than thirty search warrants across Australia resulting in 16 arrests and the seizure of hundreds of thousands of images of child abuse.
Operation Centurion: In mid-2008, the AFP began one of the largest investigations ever conducted into online child abuse. As of June 2009, 341 warrants had been executed nationally and 141 people had been arrested. Four children considered to be at risk were removed from harm.
Operation Resistance: An international collaboration, following a referral from Brazilian Federal Police in December 2007. The 12-month investigation identified alleged offenders sharing videos and images depicting child sexual abuse. The AFP executed 36 search warrants resulting in 28 arrests across Australia. More than 15,000 videos and 500,000 images were seized.
Operation Carpo: In January this year, covert online HTCO investigators identified a person attempting to sell a database online belonging to an Australian Domain Name Registrar. The database contained the compromised details of 70,000 Australian online consumers and 12,000 credit cards with an estimated financial exposure of $4.26 million.
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