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National capacity and international cooperation

International cooperation depends on states' abilities to process requests for evidence in a manner that ensures the admissibility of the evidence in court. To achieve this, qualified cybercrime professionals are needed to ensure that evidence is obtained according to national rules of evidence and criminal procedure (for further information see Cybercrime Module 4 on Introduction to Digital Forensics and Cybercrime Module 6 on Practical Aspects of Cybercrime Investigations and Digital Forensics). These professionals, however, are short in supply. In fact, countries all over the world suffer from a deficit in national capacity to deal with cybercrime (UNODC, 2013).

This deficit in national capacity is the result of a lack of human, financial, and technical resources (UNODC, 2013). First, many countries do not have the quantity and quality of personnel needed to conduct cybercrime investigations as well as prosecute cybercriminals and handle international cooperation requests on cybercrime matters. Second, countries may lack the financial resources needed to recruit, hire, and keep qualified personnel, and provide frequent and up-to-date training for cybercrime investigators and other related professionals. Third, countries lack the necessary facilities to analyse digital evidence and lack the funds needed to purchase the necessary equipment and digital forensics tools to adequately conduct cybercrime investigations.

To deal with the deficit in national capacity, partnerships have been and continue to be developed with national, regional, and international organizations (e.g., the US Department of Justice, Organization of American States and the International Telecommunications Union) as well as private companies, to provide countries in need with financial, human, and technical cybercrime assistance, and support countries' efforts to develop their national capacity to deal with cybercrime.

Pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 65/230 ( A/RES/65/230), the United Nations Commission on Cyber Prevention and Criminal Justice Resolution 22/7 Strengthening international cooperation to combat cybercrime and the United Nations Commission on Cyber Prevention and Criminal Justice Resolution 22/8 Promoting technical assistance and capacity-building to strengthen national measures and international cooperation against cybercrime, UNODC has a mandate to assist states in dealing with cybercrime by facilitating technical training in capacity-building, and implementing cybercrime prevention and education programmes, and awareness campaigns. These trainings, programmes and campaigns are particularly important as they provide long-term solutions to the current deficit in national capacity, by providing the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to conduct cybercrime investigations.

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