The recently published report by Interpol highlights the growing relevance of metaverse platforms as innovative tools to strengthen law enforcement capabilities worldwide. The Interpol metaverse expert group, established in October 2022, outlined a series of benefits and challenges associated with integrating these emerging technologies into the realms of security and justice.
One highlighted aspect in the report is the potential of the metaverse for immersive law enforcement training. The recreation of crime scenes and simulation of tactical situations would enable agencies to coordinate and respond more effectively to various circumstances, thereby enhancing operational competencies in the field.
Additionally, the utility of virtual environments for creating virtual replicas of crime scenes is emphasized. This application would allow investigators to access and analyze crime scenes indefinitely, facilitating a thorough examination of evidence and providing judges and juries the opportunity to virtually visit crime scenes for a better understanding of the context and case details.
Augmented, virtual, and extended reality tools are identified as significant resources to enhance investigations and law enforcement. These tools leverage spatial perception and cognition to create immersive 3D workspaces, offering investigators a unique approach to address intricate knowledge challenges.
Metaverse Crimes: A Key Axis to Consider
However, the report also addresses key concerns related to “metacrimes” in the metaverse. Issues such as fraud with non-fungible tokens, cyber-physical attacks, theft of digital identities, misappropriation of 3D properties and digital assets, grooming of children, sexual harassment, and stalking are identified as critical challenges requiring an appropriate response from authorities.
In terms of investigations and forensics in the metaverse, Interpol emphasizes the importance of law enforcement agencies familiarizing themselves with these emerging platforms. This involves learning to access data from virtual reality devices, recovering evidence from the metaverse infrastructure, and acquiring information from third-party service providers. The need for a holistic and collaborative approach involving multiple stakeholders and promoting cross-border collaboration is emphasized to effectively address the challenges associated with crimes in the metaverse, given the complexity and diversity of this digital environment.