The Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) is an Australia-wide policing initiative to coordinate the efforts of Australian law enforcement in combating serious, complex and multi-jurisdictional Internet-based crimes, particularly those beyond the capability of individual police agencies in Australia. Other roles include protecting the information infrastructure of Australia, and providing information to other law enforcement to help combat online crime.
They are hosted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) at their headquarters in Canberra. Under the auspices of the AFP, the AHTCC is party to the formal Joint Operating Arrangement established between the AFP, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Computer Network Vulnerability Team of the Australian Signals Directorate.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the national and principal federal law enforcement agency of the Australian Government with the unique role of investigating crime and to protect the national security of the Commonwealth of Australia. The AFP is an independent agency of the Department of Home Affairs and is responsible to the Minister for Home Affairs and accountable to the Parliament of Australia. Since October 2014 the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police has been Andrew Colvin.The AFP has a focus on preventing, investigating and disrupting transnational, serious, complex and organised crime including terrorism and violent extremism, cybercrime, child exploitation, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. The AFP is also responsible for delivering community policing in the Australian Capital Territory through ACT Policing and to other dependent territories, providing protective security in major airports and close protection for dignities including the Prime Minister of Australia and foreign diplomatic missions, delivering law enforcement training for Asia-Pacific partner agencies, acting as Australia's international law enforcement and policing representative, and contributing to United Nations peacekeeping around the world. The AFP is also a member of the National Intelligence Community and works closely with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Border Force, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.Australian Institute of Criminology
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and criminal justice. The Institute seeks to promote justice and reduce crime by undertaking and communicating evidence-based research to inform policy and practice.
The functions of the AIC include conducting criminological research; communicating the results of research; conducting or arranging conferences and seminars; and publishing material arising out of the AIC's work.Australian Intelligence Community
The Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) and the National Intelligence Community (NIC) or National Security Community of the Australian Government are the collectives of statutory intelligence agencies, policy departments, and other government agencies concerned with protecting and advancing the national security and national interests of the Commonwealth of Australia. The intelligence and security agencies of the Australian Government have evolved since the Second World War and the Cold War and saw transformation and expansion during the Global War on Terrorism in response to current international and domestic security issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, cybersecurity, transnational crime, counter-proliferation, support to military operations, and Pacific regional instability.The National Security Committee of Cabinet (NSC) is a Cabinet committee and the peak Australian Government decision-making body for national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defence matters. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and is composed of the Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Treasurer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence, and Minister for Home Affairs.
The Australian Government 2008 National Security Strategy defined the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) as the six core intelligence agencies (Office of National Assessments (ONA), Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO)) and the National Intelligence Community (NIC) as policy departments and other government agencies such as the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Federal Police. The Office of National Assessments further classifies the six agencies of the Australian Intelligence Community as collection (ASIO, ASIS, ASD, AGO) or assessment agencies (ONA, DIO). The Office of National Assessments itself plays a unique all-source intelligence assessment and intergovernmental co-ordination role.As a middle power and G20 economy in the international community and a regional power in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific, Australia has played a major role in international security. The Australian Government is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence community, the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and the Commonwealth of Nations. The foreign policy of Australia is guided by its commitment to multilateralism and the United Nations and regionalism with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations alongside strong bilateral relations particularly in Oceania, Southeast Asia, the alliance with the United States, and Australia–China relations.
The Australian Defence Force has also deployed around the world for United Nations peacekeeping, regional peacekeeping operations including with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands and the International Force for East Timor, humanitarian relief, counterterrorism and special operations, border security in Operation Resolute, airborne surveillance operations and maritime monitoring operations in the South China Sea and South West Pacific, counterinsurgency and security assistance such as with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan with Operation Slipper and Operation Highroad, and the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant with Operation Okra.
Domestically, the rise of violent extremism and threats of both Islamic and right-wing terrorism are key concerns of the Australian Government. Crime in Australia, including cybercrime and transnational crime such as human trafficking, arms trafficking, and the illegal drug trade, are ongoing risks to the security and safety of Australia.Cybercrime
Cybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrimes can be defined as: "Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, using modern telecommunication networks such as Internet (networks including chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups) and mobile phones (Bluetooth/SMS/MMS)". Cybercrime may threaten a person or a nation's security and financial health. Issues surrounding these types of crimes have become high-profile, particularly those surrounding hacking, copyright infringement, unwarranted mass-surveillance, sextortion, child pornography, and child grooming. There are also problems of privacy when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise. Debarati Halder and K. Jaishankar further define cybercrime from the perspective of gender and defined 'cybercrime against women' as "Crimes targeted against women with a motive to intentionally harm the victim psychologically and physically, using modern telecommunication networks such as internet and mobile phones". Internationally, both governmental and non-state actors engage in cybercrimes, including espionage, financial theft, and other cross-border crimes. Cybercrimes crossing international borders and involving the actions of at least one nation state is sometimes referred to as cyberwarfare.
A report (sponsored by McAfee), published in 2014, estimated that the annual damage to the global economy was $445 billion. Approximately $1.5 billion was lost in 2012 to online credit and debit card fraud in the US. In 2018, a study by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with McAfee, concludes that close to $600 billion, nearly one percent of global GDP, is lost to cybercrime each year.Internet safety
Internet safety or online safety is trying to be safe on the internet and is the knowledge of maximizing the user's personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.
As the number of internet users continues to grow worldwide, internets, governments and organizations have expressed concerns about the safety of children using the Internet. Safer Internet Day is celebrated worldwide in February to raise awareness about internet safety. In the UK the Get Safe Online campaign has received sponsorship from government agency Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and major Internet companies such as Microsoft and eBay.Task Force Argos
Task Force Argos is a branch of the Queensland Police Service, responsible for the investigation of online child exploitation and abuse. Founded in 1997, the unit’s original charter was to investigate institutional child abuse allegations arising from the Forde Inquiry.
The unit's name was derived from Greek mythology, in which Argus Panoptes, or Argos, was a primordial "all seeing" giant with multiple eyes, guardian of the goddess Io. As protector of the goddess, Argos was great and strong: sleep never fell upon his eyes, and he kept sure watch always.
Technological advances and wider access to the Internet led the unit in 2002 to explore avenues to address growing community concern over the proliferation of child exploitation across the internet. Task Force Argos identified potential threats to children in online chat rooms, where sexual predators were grooming children and recruiting them to engage in sexual activity.