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Cybercops across the English-speaking world have formed a cross border alliance to fight online crime.

The organisation, dubbed the Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group, builds on existing close relationship between electronic crime specialists from the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The group aims to share intelligence and swap best practice on tackling problems such as phishing fraud. The group also aims to strengthen and co-ordinate the development of cybercrime laws in their respective countries.

The Anglophone group is all well as good but until it incorporates law enforcement officials from the likes of Russia, the Ukraine, Brazil and China - all hubs of cybercrime - its scope will be necessarily limited.

A meeting of the working group was held earlier this month in London, featuring senior law enforcement reps from the five countries. Each country presented plans on key issues such as ways to share forensic tools, possibilities for joint training, and strategies for a public awareness campaigns to help reduce cyber crime.

The group has set up a special area on Law Enforcement Online, the FBI’s secure Internet portal, to share information and intelligence. It's also created a series of information bulletins on emerging threats, such as data leakage on P2P networks.

A three day conference in May, hosted by the FBI, will bring together legal and legislative experts from the five countries to talk about common challenges, and potential ways to streamline investigations and harmonise laws on topics such as data retention standards and privacy. ®

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