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Annual Principals Meeting of the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group concludes

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director P. J. Lechleitner hosted Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG) Annual Principals Meeting this week, where international and national partners met to discuss technology, innovation and encryption, and the emergent impacts on global safety.

FELEG is a collaborative intelligence-sharing law enforcement community. The annual meeting was attended by FELEG partners FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), U.K. National Crime Agency (UK NCA), U.K. Counter Terrorism Policing (UK CTP), and New Zealand Police. Director Lechleitner is the current chair for FELEG.

Discussions included End-to-end Encryption (E2EE) and law enforcement legal issues on global public safety.

“The FELEG partnerships enhance law enforcement investigations on the national and international level, particularly related to cyber-enabled crime, where complex tactics and cyber techniques empower transnational criminal organizations and threaten global security,” said Acting Director Lechleitner. “FELEG has increased sharing and cooperation between partner nations, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is proud to be a part of it.”

“The FBI understands that we are all better positioned to execute our mission when the international law enforcement community is bonded together through close collaboration and coordination,” said Executive Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “We will continue to foster these strategic partnerships by sharing knowledge, experience, and capabilities in the pursuit of creating a safer world bound by the rule of law.”

“At a time in history when the global drug landscape is more complex, more violent, and more deadly than ever before, it is critical that we work together to protect the safety and health of all communities,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “Two Mexican cartels, the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, are not only causing devastating harm to Americans, but they are operating worldwide on almost every continent. They are exploiting technology to enable their operations, trafficking deadly drugs quickly and widely through social media and encrypted applications. At DEA, we are committed to working with our partners across the globe to most effectively attack the criminal networks threatening the security of all our countries.”

ACIC CEO Heather Cook said that the challenges we face from transnational and serious organized crime are continually evolving. “The importance of trusted partnerships, like FELEG, that allow us to combine capabilities, knowledge and experience to combat these threats cannot be understated,” she said. “Serious and organized criminal enterprises are globalized, collaborative and adaptable – coming together to share information and respond collectively helps us stay ahead of our adversaries.”

AFP Deputy Commissioner Lesa Gale said it was the responsibility of law enforcement, the community and industry to ensure technological advancements did not provide safe havens for criminals. “We must develop innovative new technological counter-measures in an ethical, transparent and accountable manner,’’ Deputy Commissioner Gale said. “We cannot do this alone and call upon the technology industry to support the detection of illegal and harmful activities on their platforms. “The online world should be like the real world and criminals should not be protected because of a technological overlay. Through collaboration we can make a difference and create a safe online world for all in our community.”

“The relationships developed through FELEG are fundamental to identifying international criminal trends and responding to threats of mutual concern. The RCMP and its partners have proven, and continue to prove, the success of our partnerships when combatting transnational organized crime, cybercrime and taking actions to protect national security,” said Commissioner Mike Duheme, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

NCA Director General Graeme Biggar said “Collaborations like FELEG are fundamental in our collective approach to keeping the public safe and reducing the global impact of serious organized crime. But industry have a part to play too. As technology evolves and end-to-end encryption begins to be rolled out, solutions must be found to deliver both privacy and public safety measures. We all have a responsibility to ensure that those who seek to abuse these platforms are identified and caught, and that platforms become more safe, not less.”

“The FELEG partnership provides a strong basis for tackling the problems that are faced by the global law enforcement community. We have a common goal of keeping vulnerable people safe and holding offenders to account,” said Commissioner of New Zealand Police Andrew Coster.

Learn more about the international and national partnerships and the HSI mission at HSI.gov. Links to photos of the meetings here and video of the Roundtable is available here.

Originally published at https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/annual-principals-meeting-five-eyes-law-enforcement-group-concludes

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