Adriana María Tostón Díez Captain in the Spanish Civil Guard, who is currently posted to Europol, was in Lisbon last week attending an international conference, in which he spoke about the importance of research online, “cyber-patrolling”, for the detection, prevention and investigation of crimes.  He explained that this was a little explored area, but one that the Specialist considers to be of the utmost importance, since the virtual space is today, the stage for a great part of the illicit activities.

In an interview with Diario de Noticais (DN) he was asked why cyber-patrolling was so important?

Captain Diez replied “ it has always been important to detect crimes. A few years ago, it was in physical space that most of the crimes occurred. Now we have to adapt to the new reality, the internet, the open and the so-called darknet. To be able to detect and prevent crimes in this new environment, the patrolling online is the way that agencies and the police should follow. It is extremely important to maintain and increase this activity so as to ensure the safety of citizens.

D N asked about a recent operation by the Spanish police against the spread of child pornography which had repercussions in other European countries, leading to Europol coordinating research. Is this the future of criminal investigation: European coordination?

Already in the past there have been a number of operations against child pornography co-ordinated at European level by Europol or internationally by Interpol. Basically, it’s the same, but we need to use new tools to detect, investigate and accuse. Even today, suspects use the peer-to-peer system to contact each other and exchange material. We have to be aware of this.