*Machine Translation

Sparks in the Dark Community at the #C1b3rWall event

June 20, 2024

The Sparks in the Dark Community had the privilege of becoming a part of the #C1b3rWall event, a cornerstone of the Spanish National Police’s second centenary celebrations. Held from June 18-20, 2024, at the Escuela Nacional de Policía in Ávila, this key event in the Spanish calendar brought together experts from various law enforcement sectors for workshops and seminars on a wide range of cybercrime and cybersecurity topics.

Our session was the “International Workshop on Prevention and Investigation Strategies to Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Crimes“, organised by three EU-funded projects: HEROES, ALUNA, and CESAGRAM, through the Sparks in the Dark Community.

The workshop embodied collaboration, uniting European projects dedicated to combating child sexual abuse (CSA) and exploitation (CSE). It served as a platform for sharing knowledge and fostering cooperation, with discussions on successful prevention methodologies, victim assistance strategies, and the development of innovative tools and technologies for law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Mr. Henk Visser from the European Commission opened the event with a keynote presentation. Mr. Visser emphasised the importance of cooperation within the community, particularly the crucial engagement between law enforcement and the judiciary. He highlighted Sparks in the Dark as a valuable tool for collecting details of EU-funded projects and other relevant actions in the domain. The EC will host an event on June 25 in Brussels to showcase the various EU-funded projects working in the CSA domain, with Sparks in the Dark spotlighted as a means to access information from various initiatives.

The first part of the day focused on prevention and victim assistance, enriched with insightful presentations from projects such as STOP-CSAM, RAYUELA, PROMISE, ELPIS, 2PS, CSAPE, CESAGRAM, and HEROES. Each offered unique perspectives and valuable contributions to the fight against CSA/CSE crimes and human trafficking.

The day also featured a second keynote address by Alexander Schumacher from the Bavarian Police, who highlighted the outputs from the CYCLOPES project on combating CSA/CSE crimes in virtual worlds and the significant risks posed by the rise of generative AI. This was followed by sessions showcasing tools for LEAs, including CESAGRAM, ARICA, HEROES, and GRACE.

The day concluded with a wrap-up discussion led by Insp. Javier Izquierdo Rosas from the Spanish National Police, who engaged with the technical projects about the opportunities and challenges of creating tools through EU-funded initiatives.

Throughout the day, a key discussion point was the need for systematic collaboration and the importance of frameworks to ensure the uptake and continuation of research and the fruitful results flowing from these projects.

On the second day, June 20, 2024, the group aims to focus on networking among project participants, allowing them to share knowledge, challenges, and opportunities related to topics such as the transfer of data and technology and future funding opportunities to build on the results of existing initiatives.

We extend our gratitude to the Spanish National Police for hosting this event and bringing experts together.

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