What is Darknet?

  • Darknet refers to the deeply hidden internet platform that is used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornographic content and other illegal activities by using the secret alleys of the onion router (ToR) to stay away from the surveillance of law enforcement agencies.
  • Owing to its end-to-end encryption, the darknet is considered very tough to crack when it comes to investigating criminal activities being rendered over.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was part of a global ‘Operation Trance’, launched in December 2019, entailing a joint intelligence-gathering action on international postal, express mail and courier shipments containing psychotropic drugs (which can only be purchased on a doctor’s prescription) that are abused as sedatives and painkillers.
  • India is a party to the 1961 Single Convention, the 1971 Convention Against Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau (under the Ministry of Home Affairs) was created in March 1986 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • Given India’s size and the federal nature of our polity, a number of agencies both at the Centre and in the States, including NCB, have been empowered to enforce the provisions of the NDPS Act (so NCB is not the sole authority to enforce NDPS Act).
  1. Effective coordination between these agencies is vital for the efficacy of our drug law enforcement strategy.
  2. This coordinating role has been assigned to the Narcotics Control Bureau. 
  3. The Narcotics Control Bureau is one of the organizations exempt from the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Article 47 of the Indian Constitution

  • The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

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