Cops ask Facebook for help with cybercrimes

Cops ask Facebook for help with cybercrimes

Social media giant won't assist in political cases

The Crime Suppression Division seeks help from Facebook to fight cybercrimes. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The Crime Suppression Division seeks help from Facebook to fight cybercrimes. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

SINGAPORE: The Crime Suppression Division (CSD) has pledged to better protect people against cybercrimes, following a meeting with Facebook officials at the company’s Singapore headquarters.

“We will be the pilot agency for this new mission over the next few months,” said Pol Col Neti Wongkulap, chief of the CSD’s sub-division 3.

The agency is encouraging people to give anonymous tips-off or clues that will help investigators deal with crimes ranging from terrorism, child abduction and sexual abuse as well as human trafficking.

The recent spate of cybercrime led Facebook at the meeting to reiterate its willingness to cooperate with police in all countries when serious crimes are being investigated, but the giant social media platform provider has warned that it will “only work with law enforcement agencies and is not open to receiving complaints from users”, Pol Col Neti said.

“So the CSD will act as a go-between for people and Facebook,” he said.

Pol Col Neti went to the city-state island last week to seek cooperation with Facebook and the Singaporean Criminal Investigation Department.

The CSD needs Facebook’s help as 53 of the 74 million Thai people use the world's largest social networking site.

“Good and bad people use Facebook,” Pol Col Neti said. “That’s why we need to tighten cooperation with its provider.”

So far Facebook has played an important role in helping police in foreign countries deal with many criminal cases. However, its work with Thai authorities faces some glitches because many law enforcement organisations have not yet been officially recognised by Facebook, Pol Col Neti said.

A result is the two sides cannot quickly exchange information during the investigation, he said.

Pol Col Neti hopes the latest meeting between the CSD and Facebook will lead to better operations to curb cybercrimes through he added that Facebook insisted it will keep a distance from domestic political cases under its users’ privacy policy.

CSD chief Pol Maj Gen Jirapop Phuridech said cooperation with Facebook and the Singaporean police is just the start and the CSD is hoping a similar approach can be implemented across the whole of the region.

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