TUECS | About

What is TUECS?

TUECS is the acronym of The Uberization of Europol’s Cybercrime Strategy. It is a European Commission funded project under the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Individual Fellowships grant agreement no 886141. 


As global cybercrime continues to grow, providing security in cyberspace is not easy for many governments. They have a cyber-skills shortage and lack of resources to tackle cybercrimes. In this new cybersecurity environment, governments need the support of non-governmental organisations to use scarce public and private sector resources efficiently for public safety. As a result, new cybersecurity governance models are essential to enhance public-private partnerships (P3). 

In this regard, Europol is the first policing agency to declare that they have been using sharing economy as a new P3 model to tackle certain cybercrimes. This new cybersecurity governance model is a ground-breaking idea in public administration and can be adapted in many public governance fields. Even though there is a growing interest in sharing economy in the commercial area, sharing economy is an understudied research concept in public governance. 

Based on this knowledge gap, TUECS aims to examine to what extend does Europol adapts sharing economy to facilitate resource sharing between public and private actors while tackling cybercrime?

The project examines three major cybercrime areas: ransomware; crypto-laundering, and online child sexual exploitation that Europol has already pushed public and private actors to cooperate. 

Intended outcomes 

TUECS is expected to impact the knowledge on e-governance and sharing economy theory significantly. For the first time, this research examines the sharing economy in the field of cybersecurity. It follows an interdisciplinary approach integrating a conceptual framework from economics to politics. The research project provides a new perspective that sharing economy can be adapted to public governance to enhance P3. 

This research will show that Europol's online intermediary role in the field of cybercrime. It will enable it to act as an agenda-setter in specific and sensitive crime areas and emphasise its relations with actors involved in the complicated cybersecurity community. It will not just look at the discussion to explain Europol's agenda-setting but also on practices that form this new collaboration act. Analysing viewpoints of confronting actors throughout the extensive fieldwork will provide a critical analysis of their relationships and underlying challenges in the online cybersecurity community. 

The research project takes Europol’s sharing economy platforms as a laboratory to better understand contemporary political and digital transformations in cybersecurity governance. For that reason, this research will enrich ways of thinking about, conceiving and approaching relations between public and private actors as well as between EU institutions, identifying strengths and weaknesses at the institutional and operational level in this new innovative cooperation P3 model. The project will generate significant policy-relevant findings for P3 in the cybersecurity domain. It will be a leading study in its field and in other policy areas or sectors that suffer to develop new talents internally and seek an outsourced skilled workforce.

The scientific findings of the proposed research on Europol's intermediary role in preventing cybercrime will reveal the dynamics of sharing economy as a multi-party collaboration model. It will inspire other researchers in political science and international relations disciplines interested in digitalising multi-sided governance models. They can benefit from this research using the same theoretical model to generalise their empirical findings. 

Moreover, the sharing economy model is generally examined in business and economics disciplines. This research, however, will also integrate sharing economy to other social science disciplines, including European Studies (European policy-making process), Public Policy (European governance system), International Relations (digitalised P3), Security Studies (interest and threat formation between multi-sided actors) which have overlapping context. The resource gap in cyber investigations is another theme this research concerns. The theoretical model proposed in this research provides a sustainable solution to the P3 in policing. Therefore, the focus of this research on a cooperation platform will also contribute to policing and criminal justice studies.

Principle Investigator

Dr Ethem Ilbiz

Dr Ethem Ilbiz is a Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Wales in the International Centre for Policing and Security

He did his PhD at the University of Nottingham in the School of Politics and International Relations. His research interest spans practical demonstrations of issues at the crossroads of disruptive technologies and e-governance. 

His recent research projects include sharing economy, P3, ransomware, crypto-laundering, online child sexual exploitation, blockchain, encryption and hybrid warfare. 

Contact: [email protected]