Laws are often a few steps behind technology. Criminals know this, so when something new is invented, they usually have some leeway before the fix. What would happen if you were the victim of some kind of crime in the metaverse? If you went to the police… would they understand you, or would you think you escaped from a video game and are disoriented? To prevent this, one of the largest police forces in the world is already working in the metaverse to train its officers. And, believe it or not, it’s the sensible thing to do.
Interpol just arrived in the metaverse
The Metaverse is for many a recreational place to interact with other distant humans. However, you should never let your guard down. Once virtual worlds grow in popularity, they will be filled with criminals, as has happened many times before with other disruptive technologies.
What are the dangers of the metaverse? How can cybercriminals operate there? Well, that’s what the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL, wants to know.
To protect us, they must first understand us
Taking advantage of Interpol’s 90th General Assembly in New Delhi, this organization agreed to launch the world’s first police metaverse. The basic idea is that law enforcement from all member countries of this organization can enter a virtual environment to understand how virtual worlds work.
Agents will spend hours in their controlled metaverse studying how criminal masterminds might operate. Thus, they could not only identify the way in which criminals could commit serious crimes already committed online (fraud, threats, drug distribution…), but they could also study new types of crimes that might arise within the framework of the metaverse. This information will be used to protect people connected to virtual reality.
A start in cooperation with governments
Already in the assembly, Interpol has compiled a list of the most important crimes that must be investigated and prosecuted so that they are not committed in the metaverse. What worries this entity most is that criminals may find a new way to commit crimes against children, just as it is worrying that virtual reality is being used to commit financial fraud on a global scale.
However, the list of crimes is quite long. Interpol has also focused on theft of private information, ransomware, phishing and document forgery. They also expressed concern that the metaverse could foster new forms of sexual assault and harassment.
Of course, agents will not work alone. It would be pointless to connect hundreds of civil servants to virtual reality without a guide. The organization will work closely with a group of experts in this field.
Although it may seem unbelievable, Interpol is not the first police organization to work with the metaverse. A little while ago, the United Arab Emirates police had already announced a similar service for its police officers.