Organized crime is global and it is cyber savvy, so that means it is potentially a big problem for manufacturers across the world.
In an effort to help thwart the issue in the U.S., Obama administration officials unveiled a plan to fight global organized crime saying computer crime is a much greater threat today. Online networks, they said, are the backbone to nearly every illicit network.
Syndicates orchestrating intellectual property theft include enterprises that steal proprietary items “through intrusions into corporate and proprietary computer networks,” the plan said.
Online fraud committed by Central European cybercrime networks robbed Americans of about $1 billion during a one-year period, the report said.
“Virtually every transnational criminal organization and its enterprises are connected and enabled by information systems technologies, making cybercrime a substantially more important concern,” the document said. “Through cybercrime, transnational criminal organizations pose a significant threat to financial and trust systems — banking, stock markets, e-currency, and value and credit card services — on which the world economy depends.”
But the United States is short on help to track the digital money trail that crooks leave behind with their online transactions, computer addresses and wireless devices. “Often the proper investigation of this evidence trail requires highly trained personnel,” the plan said. “Crimes can occur more quickly, but investigations proceed more slowly due to the critical shortage of investigators with the knowledge and expertise to analyze ever increasing amounts of potential digital evidence.”
To bolster domestic crime fighting forces, the United States should coordinate with foreign partners on executing better computer forensics analysis, as well as recovering digital evidence for prosecutions, the report said.
In one fact that came out in the report, the Secret Service in 2010 arrested more than 1,000 suspects for fraud-related violations that generated losses amounting to more than $500 million.
The White House strategy takes on drug trafficking, human smuggling and terrorist financing, among other areas of global conspiracy, and was a yearlong review that ended in January 2010. This was the first organized crime study in 15 years.
The plan outlines several major undertakings, including a series of legislative proposals to expand the federal government’s power to investigate and prosecute top crime families.
In addition, the agenda includes a new executive order that slaps economic sanctions on syndicates and prohibits Americans from doing business with them. The plan also contains a presidential proclamation that bars individuals covered by the executive order from entering the United States. And it initiates a rewards program to elicit tips that could lead to the arrest of leaders who pose the greatest threats to national security.
Through the executive order, Obama on Monday imposed sanctions on The Brothers’ Circle, a Eurasian group of criminal enterprises mainly located in the former Soviet Union that is growing; Camorra, the largest Italian organized crime group; Yakuza, a major Japanese network that primarily engages in drug trafficking; and Los Zetas, a brutal organization largely based in Mexico that is responsible for killing U.S. customs agents and carrying out mass murders.