Interpol Chief: IT Speed Keeps Us Step Ahead Of Criminals - InformationWeek
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5/12/2010
11:25 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Interpol Chief: IT Speed Keeps Us Step Ahead Of Criminals

In his keynote talk at Tibco's global customer conference, Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble reflected Tibco's new theme of "the 2-second advantage" by describing how, in Interpol's crime-fighting operations in 180 countries, "two seconds is the difference between security and tragedy."

In his keynote talk at Tibco's global customer conference, Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble reflected Tibco's new theme of "the 2-second advantage" by describing how, in Interpol's crime-fighting operations in 180 countries, "two seconds is the difference between security and tragedy."Calling his presentation "Why Speed Matters: Using Technology to Stay One Step Ahead of the Criminals," Noble offered some sobering statistics on the logistical challenges faced by Interpol and its member countries in combating global terrorism and crime but also emphasized that that very challenge creates a huge opportunity for Interpol-provided it has world-class technology in place.

"Border crossings are where criminals are most vulnerable, and border crossings are where our 2-second advantage is most critical," Noble said. Citing Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive's new concept of how "the 2-second advantage"-having the right information in the right place at the right time and in the right context-Noble said that "for Interpol, this 2-second advantage does make a difference."

(For more on Tibco's and Ranadive's strategy, please check out today's column, "Global CIO: Calling Oracle & IBM Outdated, Tibco Launches Enterprise 3.0".)

Here's why that border-crossing vulnerability is so vital to Interpol: with help from Tibco and other IT vendors, Interpol has developed screening systems that allow it to check passports against a huge database of suspected criminals and terrorists in just two seconds. Armed with that knowledge, host countries can detain those criminals and prevent them from leaving the country.

The scale of the challenge is daunting: last year alone, 500 million air arrivals from other countries were not screened against Interpol's database of stolen travel documents, which Noble said is an indication of how much more work remains to be done with some countries around the world.

"For Interpol, the 2-second advantage turns on whether you, as either a sovereign country or as an individual, choose to act on it or not. And in the near future, we're working aggressively to have that in place to protect one of world's great sporting events: the FIFA World Cup in South Africa," Noble said.

"It's our hope and expectation that we'll have everything in place to give law enforcement that 2-second advantage to protect the millions of tourists who'll be going there."

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