EU exec urges cooperation to combat cybercrime

European Union nations must improve cross-border police cooperation to tackle child pornography, credit card fraud and identity theft on the Internet, the EU's top justice and interior affairs official, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report quoted Internet providers EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini as saying that the new legislation could be introduced later this year to ensure all 27 EU nations have standard rules to criminalize identity theft, and boost coordination with Internet providers EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini said.

'It is essential to work closely with member states, relevant EU and international organizations and other stakeholders,' he was also quoted as saying.

The call comes as authorities struggle to contain the growing problem of illegal web activities, which the European Commission says is costing companies millions of euros in fraud, the report added.

The EU head office pointed to British statistics however, which found that the publication of child sexual abuse material available on the Internet had jumped by 1,500% between 1997 and 2005, the report said.

In his proposal, Frattini called for police forces in EU states to work closely with Internet providers and related companies to shut down and pursue hackers, pornography rings, fraudsters and threats related to terrorism, the report further said.

Stepped-up coordination with non EU nations, and with Interpol are also being pushed, officials said.