David Bannon's thriller-like book Race Against Evil(1) recounts his experiences working for Interpol. While most have heard of Interpol, it has a mysterious connotation for many. "We're seen as a semi-mythical organization of super-sleuths, (but) we want to get rid of that myth," Peter Nevitt (Interpol's Director of Internet Security) told CIO Magazine. Indeed Interpol, claims it is not a secretive agency populated by spies and double agents.
"Interpol's mission is to promote international police co-operation i.e. to help officers from different police forces, countries, languages, and cultures to co-operate with one another and work together to solve crime," explains a fact sheet on the Interpol website(2). Over the years more and more nations have joined Interpol and they now have network of 181 charter member countries.
The eighty-year old organization, which once sent data out using Morse code, now uses the Internet to house a secure database of information available in four languages (English, French, Spanish, & Arabic). They also distribute "wanted" notices for international fugitives as well as weekly bulletins. Among the many types of criminal cases Interpol handles are children and human trafficking, stolen art works, drugs, terrorism, and football hooliganism.