The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), or Interpol, is investigating how it could police crimes in the metaverse. However, a top Interpol executive believes there are issues with defining a metaverse crime.
According to BBC, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock revealed the agency’s intent to oversee criminal activities on the metaverse. Stock highlighted the ability of “sophisticated and professional” criminals to adapt to new technological tools for committing crimes.
The move to police the metaverse comes nearly four months after Interpol launched its own metaverse in October 2022 at the 90th Interpol General Assembly in New Delhi, India.
During the launch, the announcement read:
“As the number of metaverse users grows and the technology further develops, the list of possible crimes will only expand to potentially include crimes against children, data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing, and sexual assault and harassment.”
According to Stock, criminals have started targeting users on platforms similar to the metaverse, adding that “we need to sufficiently respond to that.” However, the organization faces issues with defining a metaverse crime. Madan Oberoi, Interpol’s executive director of technology and innovation, stated:
“There are crimes where I don’t know whether it can still be called a crime or not. 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.”
Moreover, he revealed that Interpol is also challenged with raising awareness about possible metaverse crimes.
Related: The world must take a ‘collective action’ approach to regulations — India’s finance minister
In parallel to launching into the metaverse in October 2022, the organization created a dedicated unit to fight crypto crimes.
The initiatives followed Interpol’s “red notice” to global law enforcement in September for the arrest of Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon.