How Interpol plans to prevent crime in the metaverse 

The metaverse has been described by some people as the future of the internet. Instead of just being on a computer, it can allow users to enter a virtual world that’s connected with others. 

However, Interpol – a global police agency that facilitates international cooperation for cybercrime – is currently investigating how it can effectively police crime in the metaverse. 

Interpol has now created its own virtual reality (VR) space so it can train people and attend virtual meetings to discuss how to keep users safe in this new online environment. 

The space can only be accessed through a secure server and allows police to experience the metaverse and determine how crimes could be committed, and how they can be policed. 

But, one of the biggest challenges Interpol is facing is how to define online crimes in the metaverse, how to stop them, and how to raise awareness in general. 

Interpol secretary general Jurgen Stock said: “Criminals are sophisticated and professional in very quickly adapting to any new technological tool that is available to commit a crime. We need to sufficiently respond to that. 

Sometimes lawmakers, police, and our societies are running a little bit behind. We have seen if we are doing it too late, it already impacts trust in the tools we are using, and therefore the metaverse. In similar platforms that already exist, criminals are using it.”

Dr Madan Oberoi, Interpol’s executive director of technology and innovation added: “There are crimes where I don’t know whether it can still be called a crime or not. For example, there have been reported cases of sexual harassment. If you look at the definitions of these crimes in physical space, and you try to apply it in the metaverse, there is a difficulty. 

We don’t know whether we can call them a crime or not, but those threats are definitely there, so those issues are yet to be resolved. If law enforcement is interested in helping people who have been hurt in the metaverse, they need to know about the metaverse. And that is one of our objectives – to make sure law enforcement personnel start using the metaverse and they become aware.”

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