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21 Oct, 2022 13:44

Interpol launches police metaverse

The project will teach officers how to combat crime in the virtual world
Interpol launches police metaverse

The first metaverse for law enforcement has been unveiled by Interpol. As some crimes committed in the physical world are not yet regulated in the virtual space, perpetrators are already taking advantage of the relative lawlessness, the organization concludes. 

The launch of the platform by Interpol was announced during its 90th General Assembly in New Delhi on Thursday. In a statement published on its website, the international police body explained that users of the new metaverse can take a tour of a virtual re-creation of the Interpol General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, interact with other officers, and take training courses in forensic investigation along with other policing capabilities.

Interpol’s Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, Madan Oberoi, insists that “not all acts that are criminalized” offline “are considered crimes when committed in the virtual world.” Oberoi stressed the importance of cutting off “future criminal markets before they are fully formed.”

The so-called Metaverse is built on the idea of the internet evolving into a single, immersive virtual space, using virtual or altered reality technology, accessible to users through VR or AR headsets.

Several companies have already attempted to create their own version of this online world, including Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, which has been developing its own platform called Horizon Worlds. 

“Criminals are already starting to exploit the Metaverse,” Interpol warned in Thursday's statement. The organization cooperates with the World Economic Forum, Meta and Microsoft in preparing to tackle crime in the newly emerging spaces. 

Interpol says that as the number of Metaverse users grows, so too will the list of possible crimes, which will potentially include violations such as data theft, money laundering, financial fraud, counterfeiting, ransomware, phishing and even sexual assault and harassment.