Cisco is linking up with Interpol to share data about the cyber criminals it finds both on and off its network

  • On Tuesday, Cisco announced that it will share “cybercrime” data with the international police network Interpol.
  • The data includes information and analysis about security threats that Cisco already aggregates through an existing research arm, Cisco Talos.
  • The company said it won’t share information about customer vulnerabilities.
  • It’s a warm nod to law enforcement in an industry that generally requires search warrants before it shares any data.

Just one day after Amazon Web Service (AWS) announced a “secret” cloud service for the CIA, another tech company is aligning itself with a government agency.

Cisco will now share “cybercrime” data with the international police network Interpol, the company announced Tuesday. That data includes “threat intelligence” to support Interpol’s work “targeting both ‘pure cybercrime’ and cyber-enabled crimes to assist member countries with identifying cyberattacks and their perpetrators.”

A spokeswoman for the company told Business Insider that Cisco will not share customer data with Interpol, which includes data about individual customer’s networks or security vulnerabilities.

Cisco is a large provider of enterprise hardware such as routers and switches, which functionally serve as a backbone for the entire internet. This means the company has access to data about some of the world’s largest corporations and governments.

Part of the data shared with Interpol will come from Cisco Talos, an existing security research group that aggregates and analyses security data. Cisco said its security technology currently blocks 19.7 billion “threats” a day.

US tech companies usually require warrants before sharing data

Despite a charter to be politically neutral, Interpol has been accused of benefiting some countries over others. In October, for example, Russia was allowed to put a British critic of Vladimir Putin on the Interpol’s wanted list in what was widely viewed to be a politically-motivated request.

Though many tech companies have government agencies as clients, Cisco’s collaboration with Interpol is a big shift from tech’s historic approach to data requests from law enforcement agencies. Companies like Apple and Twitter, for example, generally require warrants before they will share any data with law enforcement.

Cisco, however, is billing this partnership as a necessary step toward tackling global cybersecurity challenges.

John Stewart, senior vice president and chief security officer at Cisco, said in a statement that it’s up to both public and private sectors to address cybersecurity with “equal force.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with Interpol to exchange threat intelligence and find other knowledge-sharing opportunities to fight cybercrime globally,” Stewart said.