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Lion DC: Six months after implementation

Since 2018, the Polish Platform for Homeland Security has been participating in the international project concerning fight against online drug crimes titled “Law Enforcements Technological Innovation Consolidation for Fight Against Online Drug Crimes (LION DC).” The project consortium includes 12 partners from such countries as Poland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.

During the first months of the project, the PPHS, as the leader of Work Package 2 (Online Drug Crime Phenomena Definition & LEA needs assessment), was responsible for collecting data on and analyzing the online drug crime phenomenon from the point of view of the agencies that are in charge of security represented in the consortium. As a part of the task, common needs/shortages of services (training, procedural and legal, tooling) and challenges (darknet, cryptocurrencies, network, and user encryption, legal and procedural issues, and an overall lack of training) were identified as the main challenges they deal with during such cases.

One part of the work was concentrated on the technologies that are currently used in online drug cases and resulted in determination of the technological needs of and the challenges faced by the agencies that are in charge of security, as well as of recommendations for improving the effectiveness of their actions.

In this period, the following reports have been prepared (all with a confidential status):

  • “LEA Digital Online Drug Crimes Investigation Needs Survey Report”;
  • “Digital Online Drug Crimes Investigation tooling questionnaire”;
  • “Digital Online Drug Crimes Investigation tooling LEA challenges”.

Each of the reports mentioned above was based on information obtained from representatives of security services – partners of the LION DC consortium.

The two international meetings organized within Work Package 2 were an opportunity to conduct lively discussions with practitioners concerning the fight against online drug trafficking. The first meeting was held on 27-28 February 2019 at the Regional Police Headquarters in Poznan. The main objective of the meeting was to identify the common needs of the agencies that are in charge of security in the area of fight online drug crimes. The second meeting was organized in cooperation with the TNO. It was held on 17-18 April 2019 in Leiden, Netherlands. Its main goal was to discuss the different challenges that representatives of security services face when conducting investigations connected with online drug crimes.

Currently, the PPHS is carrying out further tasks within Work Package 2, including tasks involving the creation of two training scenarios in the area of prevention of online drug trafficking, which will be later used in the further Work Packages. Moreover, in September 2019, the third LION DC project workshop will take place in Vilnius, where the works completed in Work Package 2 will be summarized and  the next two Work Packages will be presented.

The project is financed within the EU Internal Security Fund Police program. Its performance will continue until December 2020.