US-PH officials tackle cybersecurity issues

The U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) brought together Filipino and U.S. representatives from the security and justice sectors to exchange best practices and share knowledge on resolving cybersecurity issues, such as investigating the criminal use of cryptocurrencies and responding to computer and network intrusions.

“We all have a clear interest in strengthening standards that mitigate cyber threats and improve stability in cyberspace,” INL Director Kelia Cummins said at the INL’s first roundtable and networking event. Law Enforcement Cybersecurity Awareness Month held October 13 at the U.S. Embassy. The event also marks US National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Eight officials from the National Bureau of Investigation, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – all graduates of the INL-supported International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok – participated in the roundtable and committed to strengthening inter-agency collaboration to improve law enforcement’s ability to deal with the increasingly advanced tools and technologies used by cybercriminals.

Officials from the Department of Justice and the National Police Commission also attended the roundtable for the Philippine side, while representatives from the United States Department of Justice-Office of Overseas Attorneyial Development, Assistance, and Training, the The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Foreign Trade Service were present as observers and advisory subject matter experts.

Roundtable participants agreed to meet again in six months to assess progress against each agency’s cybersecurity goals and to support open lines of communication between agencies. The Philippines Department of Justice also shared plans to further develop its information-sharing network to facilitate inter-agency cooperation.

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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the United States is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness of digital security, highlight the importance of cybersecurity to national security, and empower individuals with the tools they need to stay safe online nationally and internationally. It is also an opportunity to call on stakeholders to take action to protect individuals and businesses from cyber threats and to work with global partners to hold cybercriminals accountable.

Globally, INL promotes proactive action against cybercriminals through international law enforcement cooperation and bilateral, regional and global capacity building, technical assistance and training to adapt to the transnational and ever-changing landscape of cybercrime. The INL also supports the development of legal and institutional frameworks and relationships that enable diplomatic and law enforcement collaboration across borders.

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