Basel to Set Up a Cyber-Unit to Deal with Digital and Cyber Crimes


Following a series of neglected crime cases in Basel, the authorities have dimmed if the right to set up a cyber-unit to deal with digital and cyber crimes. From the observation made by the Basel authorities, there has always been one and only criminal investigator who carries the responsibility of aiding the police in the city to scrutinize all forms of crimes and also helps in solving these criminal activities. However, the presence of only one criminal investigator is not the only disturbing factor, but due to the low attention given to the activities of such crimes, there are almost no resources available for criminal investigations in the fight against digital crimes and cyber attacks in Basel.

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In terms of infrastructure too, according to reports from Basel authorities, there is only one location or place where you can find an investigation setup that is devoted for undertaking criminal investigations and other case analysis which includes, evaluating the dealings of suspected criminals on the internet, and tracking the movements and actions of such suspected people on social media or anywhere on the internet concerning a potential crime or act of violence. Comparatively, the situation or case analysis has really helped the cantonal police to determine the exact resources needed for crime purposes.

The good step taken by the local government council in Basel to set up a department for digital and cybercrime has delighted many. The issue of internet security has gradually become a critical duty for the Basel government as per the executive as she added in her writing at a Grand Council last year which basically was in response to the nonpartisan suit.

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Looking at how cybercrime cases have been handled from the past makes prosecution of the criminals very slow. Also per the government, at the moment the office of the public prosecutor must have to push very difficult cases to external agencies and organizations (which are mostly well-developed crime offices from other Cantons who are experts in solving complex crime case) to aid in solving the cases.

Furthermore, the May 2019 report for the Financial Council of the Greater Council plainly reveals that it is rare to hear of an advanced crime investigation going on in Basel. The report says out of the 300 to 400 cyber-referral ads which is recorded annually in the office of the prosecutor, only a few are attended to as most of the cases fade away or are prosecuted in the court without no proper investigations which means no physical or digital traces or evidence can be collected and provide in court during the trials.

The report also noted that they are still lacking expertise and other officials even if all the needed technical materials are in place. So, the government made a conscious effort to bring to the notice of the Grand Council how the fight against digital and cyber crimes in Basel-City can only be solely controlled if a specialized and professional unit is brought up or if the already existing unit is extensively enlarged. Overall, it is expected to have a 6 person unit team to make an appearance in 2020 if the budget set for that is acceptable by the parliament. This unit will fight digital and cyber crimes such as online frauds, verbal abuse and social media vilification, the sale of illicit products, the distribution of child pornography, hacking, phishing and malware.

For the public prosecutor’s office, the aim is to increase the awareness rate of criminality and also strive to carry out a world-class investigation that is technically enlightened on particularly Darknet crimes.

In any case, as the Basel government is establishing about 16 posts for its police and prosecutors, so as other Cantons such as Bern and Zurich are making similar developments.

Source: DOJ

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