Cybercrime in Argentina

Back in 2017, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime made a partnership with Argentina for the delivery of an advanced training course on strengthening the capacities of criminal justice instructions. The course was delivered to 350 officers from different Argentinean agencies, to reduce the rate of cybercrime. In this context, participants also analyzed the link between corruption and transnational organized crime and identified the most common corruption risks to effectively define applicable integrity measures. However, cybercrime in the country has been on the rise.

From January 1st to December 21th, 2020, Argentinians reported nearly 1,570 cybercrime offenses. This is about 60% more than the 971 online crimes recorded in the South American country in 2019. One of the most common cybercrime is the development of “deepfakes”, which is usually a photo or a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else, typically used maliciously or to spread false information. “Deepfakes” are made through deep learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and many are for pornography. In fact, according to a Deeptrace in an Argentinean report, pornography made up 96% of “deepfake” videos found online in 2019.

Identity theft is as well used in transnational crimes including human trafficking, slavery, and terrorism. And by identity theft is meant the illegal use of personally identifiable information. On top of that, PII is mostly used against women in Argentina. NGOs that have been tracking femicides for over a decade, reported that a woman is killed every 30 hours in Argentina through the illegal use of PII.

Laura Zommer, director of Chequeado the biggest fact-checking organization in Argentina pointed out that: “The use of a deepfake draws attention to the sophisticated new techniques that are currently being used to deceive citizens.” This leads to wanting to have a stronger strategy implemented by the National Cybersecurity Committee, in line with provisions of the government, while promoting cybersecurity international cooperation, protecting the information of the public sector, raising awareness on safe and secure use of cyberspace between Argentinian citizens, and strengthening social and economic development.

About the author:

Aya Taloaie is a 17-year-old Moroccan high school student and a STEM activist. She has made over 3 social mobile apps, and is highly experienced in data science, machine learning and AI. She currently volunteers in many organizations and hopes to create more opportunities for students by co-founding @forsa.lik (opportunity for you in Arabic). She aspires to be a data scientist and an entrepreneur.

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