Remarks by U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Dean Thompson at the Seminar on Computer Crimes Against Children

Inspector General Tobă / Deputy Inspector General Spiridon,

Colleagues from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Romanian National Police,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m honored to be with you this morning and welcome you to a specialized training program designed to improve investigative skills and raise awareness about the various cyber threats that impact the safety of the youngest members of our communities. For almost two decades, the US Embassy in Bucharest has partnered with the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police to develop assistance initiatives and consolidate institutional resources in order to create appropriate response mechanisms to the increased risks of cyber theft, fraud or abuse. Our continued commitment to effectively reduce security dangers posed by cyber criminals has led to the establishment within the Romanian Police of a well-respected body of professional investigators that are now called upon to share their knowledge and expertise throughout the region and be a driving force in various European Union funded programs.

The workshop scheduled for this week is also a reflection of our joint efforts to advocate for cyber security and encourage vigilance by all computer users. Through the generous offer of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Romania has been selected as one of the countries to benefit from international law enforcement training programs on how to better protect children, find missing children, prevent child sexual exploitation and eradicate commercial child pornography from the internet. The cooperation between Romanian law enforcement and the Center is not new as in 2007 the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police has been one of the first agencies to deploy the most powerful investigative software tool available for online child sexual exploitation cases – Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS). We welcome the presence of our distinguished colleagues from ICMEC here today and look forward to a rewarding professional exchange between Romanian investigators and our guest speakers from the leading organization in the fight against online child sexual exploitation. Your presence here this week fully supports the US Embassy’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities scheduled throughout October to generate alertness and shared responsibility for all internet users.

Observed in the United States since 2004 with contributions from government agencies, public and private sector partners, this initiative has slowly become an advocacy campaign implemented throughout the European Union and Romania has been one of the first countries involved in the pilot project of a European Cyber Security Month in 2012. This year we proudly partnered with our Romanian law enforcement colleagues to organize various briefings and youth outreach programs in response to the constant cyber threats to our communities and our countries. In addition to this week’s training, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Secret Service and the Romanian Police will deliver specialized presentations at various high-schools in Bucharest. Your active participation throughout this workshop, along with the investigative exchanges that will follow as a result of this interaction, will contribute to our common goal of enhanced cybersecurity.

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our hosts for your continued cooperation and for your commitment to our bilateral or regional programs.

I wish you the best of luck during the workshop and in all your future endeavors.

Thank you.