VICTORIA – The Province has provided $350,000 in grants to launch an international cybercrime research centre that will investigate online crime trends and help to develop new tools to counter them, Labour and Citizens? Services Minister Iain Black announced today.

?We are investing in research that will help to safeguard the province?s public sector computer network against criminal misuse and strengthen British Columbia?s position as an international leader in information security and protection of privacy,? said Black.

The International Cybercrime Research Centre will conduct research into a wide variety of cybercrime concerns, including economic crimes, social networking abuses, identity management and critical infrastructure protection. It will also analyze international trends and serve as an educational centre for industry professionals.

The centre is a unique partnership between the Province, Simon Fraser University and the International Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB). The Province is contributing $250,000 to Simon Fraser University?s School of Criminology to provide physical space and a secure data centre for lab equipment. POLCYB has received a further $100,000 to help it operate the centre.

POLCYB is a B.C.-based not-for-profit society that draws on an international community of experts to prevent and combat crimes in cyberspace.

?This is an important addition to the existing international network of cybercrime fighting agencies,? said the centre?s administrative director Bessie Pang. ?The ability to share information instantly across borders is key to understanding and responding to emerging threats.?

?This partnership boosts our research capability and gives us the potential to significantly expand our knowledge base,? said Dr. Rob Gordon, director of the SFU School of Criminology.