Europeans Want to Police the Metaverse

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Europol’s Innovation Lab has published a new report, entitled Policing in the metaverse: what law enforcement needs to know. The report provides a detailed overview of the potential for criminal activities within the metaverse, alongside the opportunities and best practices of building police presence online.

Just as with the early years of the internet, the ways in which metaverse-native crimes or the metaverse version of cybercrimes may occur are unknown. It is inevitable however, that as the metaverse develops it will open up different opportunities for criminal activity.

The report asks what safety measures metaverse service providers are required to implement, and what tools should law enforcement have to police the metaverse. Europol says building a policing presence online is vital to supporting public safety in both the real and virtual worlds.

Policing the Metaverse
Because the Metaverse combines aspects of both the real world and cyberspace, it presents unique challenges for law enforcement. Just as with the early years of the internet, the ways in which Metaverse-native crimes or the metaversion of cybercrimes may occur are unknown. It is inevitable however, that as the Metaverse develops it will open up different opportunities for criminal activity.

Metaverse service providers are required to take appropriate measures to prevent crime and keep their users safe—just as real-world businesses are required to do—and law enforcement agencies need to have tools in place to investigate and prosecute crimes that do occur withinMetaverses. But becauseMetaverses are still fairly new, there is no blueprint for how best to do this. Europol’s report aims to provide some guidance by asking what safety measures Metaverse service providers should implement and what tools law enforcement should have to policethe Metaverse.

By building a policing presence online—in both real-world cyberspace andMetaverses—law enforcement agencies can better support public safetyin both worlds.

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