India to strengthen its police capacity in the Darknet

A research group comprising Indian law enforcement, academic institutions, startups and research and development organizations has begun work to strengthen India’s police capacity in the Darknet.

Under this initiative, approximately a dozen „problem statements“ have been identified, reported by the police and central agencies and distributed to 120 academic and research institutions.

The programme is expected to produce a diverse range of possible solutions and strategies to expand policing skills on the deep web in India.

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The Narcotics Control Bureau of India has made numerous arrests of drug syndicates and black market pharmacists in recent months, following the agency’s involvement in the global crackdown on „Operation Trance“.

Indian police work with 120 research institutions
The Indian Police Bureau of Research and Development plans to create an interactive web portal to assist law enforcement agencies with darknet investigations once possible solutions have been received from all 120 institutions.

The Hindustan Times reports that the portal will seek to „provide information on cybercrime, its modus operandi, investigative techniques, as well as digital solutions for tracking voice sources through Internet Protocol calls, cracking passwords and decrypting protected files“.

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The publication reports that the resource will use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to be constantly updated, and adds that a designated financial crime case management platform is planned.

BPRD chief V S Kaumudi described the initiative as „a capacity-building measure“ for law enforcement agencies and „an exercise in taking cybercrime investigation tools to a state-of-the-art level“.

Officials also emphasized the increased risk of cyberattacks amid the growing reliance on digital systems in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Operation „Trace“ Leads to Arrest of Indians
Since the emergence of anonymous markets for darknet, such as on the Bitcoin Billionaire in 2011, India has been a dominant source of pharmaceuticals sold through darknet.

Indian police have sought to increase enforcement action against sellers in the „Darknet“ in recent months, and in February the owner of a pharmaceutical company was arrested in connection with an international drug syndicate.

Similar arrests have also occurred as a result of global efforts under Operation Trance, which has established transnational cooperation among law enforcement agencies to disrupt trafficking networks selling narcotics and pharmaceuticals around the world.