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Will 5G Make Law Enforcements Job More Difficult?

Europe’s police agency is worried that 5G will interfere with law enforcement’s ability to track people.

Catherine De Bolle, head of Europol is asking European Union leaders to allow their agency to be more engaged in policy conversations involving the adoption of 5G technology. Police agencies in Europe, and the U.S., are capable of tracking and listening in on cell phones using 4G, but, many of the tools they use don’t work in the 5G network, De Bolle said. She explained that 5G networks spread data across networks in a way that makes it difficult to track. “It is one of the most important investigative tools that police officers have, so we need this in the future,” De Bolle stated, describing Europol’s tracking surveillance that works on the current mobile infrastructure. But those tools might not work for long, as “we cannot use them in the 5G.”

On Thursday Europol released a report titled “Do Criminals Dream of Electric Sheep” which presents their vision for doing their job in the digital era, dealing with criminals who use encryption, hacking, 3-D printing, self driving cars, and drones.

De Bolle is taking the opportunity to complain that police weren’t brought in early enough for business and policy talks about 5G. “The biggest risk is that we are not enough aware of the developments on a technological level and we have to be ahead on this. “So we need to be at the table where they discuss this technological development, where they discuss standardization.”

Europol is campaigning to double its current budget of 138 million euros ($155 million) within the next eight years, so the agency can boost its cyber crime resources.


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