Any mention of the metaverse brings images of first per shooter games or titles such as the Sims where people can participate as customised avatars. Although Mark Zuckerberg's much talked about metaverse didn't impress many, there are other platforms offering halls for events, art galleries, markets and even entire cities in the virtual world. With more than 40 crore people now living in the metaverse, it also opens doors for futuristic crimes, and investigative agency Interpol is watching.
Hundreds of millions are interacting, partying, working and even eating together in the virtual universes offered by Roblox, Minecraft and others. This has prompted Interpol to announce that it will be probing crimes committed in the metaverse as well. The move is crucial at a time when Europol has expressed concerns about terror recruitment in virtual spaces, and India's Home Minister Amit Shah has remarked that terrorism has gone from dynamite to metaverse.
Imagine terrorists from different parts of the world interacting sans geographical boundaries in the digital world. Criminals can even create models of cities, buildings and important facilties in the metaverse, and plot attacks, heists or other crimes there. It even opens up the danger of entire terror training camps being set up in the metaverse, and Interpol can be effective in the virtual world with its ability to transcend borders.
Apart from threats of terrorism and crimes such as impersonation or invasion of privacy, reports of sexual assault in the metaverse have also troubled authorities for a while. With immersive devices taking someone inside closed virtual spaces and relaying vibrations to the body, women have reported sexual abuse apart from verbal abuse and hate speech in the metaverse.
Cybercriminals have been becoming more and more sophisticated, and cryptocurrencies are also used for transactions in metaverses. These call for Interpol to scale up its tech expertise and nip virtual crimes in the bud.
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