The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), also known as Interpol, has announced that it will begin investigating crimes committed within the metaverse, a virtual reality space where people can interact with each other in a computer-generated environment. Interpol’s Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, has emphasized the need for the organization to work within virtual reality, given the ability of “experienced and professional” criminals to adapt to new technological tools for committing crimes.
The Challenge of Defining Crime in the Metaverse
Fraudsters targeting users on platforms similar to the metaverse have prompted Interpol to respond to this new threat. However, the organization faces challenges defining the concept of crime in the metaverse. Interpol’s executive director of technology and innovation, Madan Oberoi, stated that “currently, we cannot call crimes committed in virtual reality actual crimes. However, we are already developing a legal framework.”
The First-Ever Metaverse for Law Enforcement
To address this issue, Interpol has unveiled the first-ever metaverse specifically designed for law enforcement agencies worldwide. The new metaverse is already fully operational, allowing registered users to travel through the virtual space of the Interpol General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, without any geographical or physical boundaries. The virtual world offers officers the ability to interact with other law enforcement personnel and even take immersive training courses in forensic science and other police specializations.
The Importance of the Interpol Metaverse
The creation of a virtual reality space for police officers to train and interact is a positive development in the fight against virtual crimes. Criminals are constantly adapting to new technologies, and it is vital that law enforcement agencies keep pace with these changes. Moreover, virtual reality technologies are still in their infancy, and it is important to take the first step for those who do not want to miss the train. The development of a legal framework for crimes committed within the metaverse will be critical to ensure that criminals are held accountable for their actions and that victims receive justice.