How Interpol Uses Social Media
Roles of INTERPOL
Social media has become a fundamental aspect of our lives. The majority of the world’s population operates at least one social media platform. In fact, a recent study revealed that approximately 3.6 billion people across the globe use social media. Consequently, the large number of users has led to many organizations adopting social media to carry out some of their duties. Among these organizations is the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
Before we go into how INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organization, makes use of social media, let’s first find out what INTERPOL is all about.
What is INTERPOL?
The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) is an intergovernmental organization that comprises 194 member countries. It has its headquarters situated in Lyon, Singapore. The organization primarily works with the police force of its member countries to curtail criminal activities on an international level.
They are able to achieve this by enabling the police force of member countries to share and access data on crimes and criminals. INTERPOL created a system where the police departments in member countries can share such data.
In each of the member countries, INTERPOL has a National Central Bureau (NCB). This Bureau serves as a point of contact for the organization’s General Secretariat and other NCBs. Finally, INTERPOL has a supreme governing body. This body is the General Assembly which comprises representatives from different member countries. Interpol is famous for its global investigations and networking across borders, and most of the major criminal cases. The agency uses a variety of legal force tools in its investigations.
Roles of INTERPOL
INTERPOL plays several fundamental roles as an international organization. These roles generally function to strengthen the security structure of the member countries. They include:
- Exchanging data: The INTERPOL provides an avenue for its NCBs in various countries to share data. The NCB of each member country communicates through a secure communication channel with the other NCBs. This ensures that their actions and duties are in uniform.
For instance, if a country places a notice that an individual is wanted, the other countries will be on the lookout for the person. This is possible due to the exchange of data.
Presently, INTERPOL has approximately 90 million shared records in its database.
- Assisting the police forces in member countries: Interpol is all about creating an avenue for the police forces of several countries to help each other. This could be in the area of training, forensics, database, and the likes. This ensures that the police in different countries can carry out their duties effectively.
- Maintaining global security: The primary goal of INTERPOL is to maintain global security by uniting the international community. This will, in turn, strengthen international law enforcement. It gives them the ability to achieve their goals, including curtailing drug trafficking, cybercrimes, money laundering, terrorism, and the likes.
By achieving their goals, they create a safe global space with little to no illegal activities.
- Consolidating resources: The INTERPOL creates an opportunity for the gathering and distribution of resources. These resources benefit countries that lack them, especially financial resources. Each of the member countries contributes a certain amount as stipulated by the General Assembly. The public may also donate to the organization voluntarily.
How INTERPOL Uses Social Media
Social media has proven instrumental for the INTERPOL or any law enforcement agency in playing their roles. With the aid of Social media, INTERPOL can do the following:
- Connect with the public: INTERPOL is on social media networks such as Instagram, Twitter, and the likes. The purpose of this is to connect with the masses, pass across information, and receive feedback.
Furthermore, these platforms enable the public to report any individual or group suspected to be involved in illegal activities.
- Subpoena: Social media has been instrumental in finding wanted criminals. With the aid of a subpoena, the INTERPOL can uncover criminals hiding behind anonymous social media posts and accounts.
A subpoena is an authorization by the law court to obtain information, especially private ones, for legal purposes.
- Track location: Social media has made it possible for INTERPOL to track the location of suspects. Through the use of images, videos it is possible for INTERPOL to pinpoint the exact whereabouts of suspects. This has been useful in tracking even large criminal syndicates thanks to location tagging.
Some social media such as Instagram majorly make use of location tagging, making it easy for law enforcement to get access to photographic evidence.
- Sting Operation: This is a code name for an operation where law enforcement disguises to catch a criminal red-handed. This same technique has been used on social media and has proved effective.
Law enforcement agencies can use fake social media accounts to uncover criminals such as drug traffickers and pedophiles.
The INTERPOL does this for criminals seeking refuge in a country that’s not theirs. INTERPOL arrests such individuals and finds a way to return them to their home country to face the law.
Notices that INTERPOL Use in Communication
One of the fundamental roles of INTERPOL is sharing data with the police forces of member countries. This is important to track criminals in whatever country they try to hide in. One of the ways INTERPOL shares data for tracking criminals is by sending color-coded notices.
These notices all pass across distinct messages.
- Red: This indicates that a particular suspect is a serious offender. It tells the member country where the criminal is in to watch out for the criminal and temporarily arrest them. Later on, the member country can release him or her to their home country through diplomatic ways.
- Green: The green notice is similar to the red. It follows the same procedure with the Red. The difference between this notice and the red is that the suspect’s alleged offense is not as severe. As such, the green notice is not treated as urgently as the red notice.
- Blue: The blue notice passes the message that a suspect is a notorious criminal. It is used when the whereabouts of the suspect are unknown. INTERPOL sends this message to its member countries so they can all be on the lookout for the suspect. Once any member country finds the suspect within their borders, they alert the suspect’s home country.
- Orange: Orange is a warning to a member country about an event or an individual that might pose a threat to public safety. For example, the INTERPOL can warn member countries about an individual who could be a terrorist. Or that an event may be related to terrorism.
- Yellow: This color is a message to member countries to help locate a missing person who is usually a minor. It may also be used to get people to identify individuals who cannot identify themselves.
- Black: This indicates that a dead person who is not a citizen is in a particular country. It can also be used to inform others who might be looking for the individual.
Hire an International INTERPOL Lawyer in the UAE
It is necessary for you to have a means of defending yourself when you are unjustly labeled a criminal. Without knowledge of how the INTERPOL system works, it will be difficult to defend yourself. The complexity of the system also makes it difficult for regular criminal defense lawyers to handle appropriately.
That is why it is important to immediately hire an international criminal defense lawyer.
Amal Khamis Advocates Legal Consultant is a UAE-based law firm experienced in dealing with INTERPOL legal matters. We specializes in Interpol Notices and Alerts from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are issued by the Interpol and Dubai Police. Our team of criminal defense lawyers is committed to protecting the rights and freedom of our clients. So you can rest assured that by contacting us, we will work closely with you to make sure that every issue is resolved.