Delhi police in partnership with local Indian educational institutions and schools have begun to provide cyber safety lessons to teenagers across the country. According to Dependra Pathak, a spokesperson and special commissioner for Delhi Police, the law enforcement agency will teach safe online habits to ensure teenagers don’t get involved in illicit cyber activities and fall victim to illegal operations.
As a start, Delhi Police invited all of the schools in the country to its cyber security workshops and seminars to encourage teachers to plan and establish appropriate cyber security lessons for their students. So far, the cyber security program designed by the cyber cell of Economic Offences Wing was attended by 423 computer teachers from 302 schools in the country.
At the workshops, Delhi Police prepared various short films, presentations, videos, quizzes and FAQs which teachers can then provide to their students. By offering an interactive program, Delhi Police aimed to encourage teenagers to obtain a better understanding of cyber security, safe online habits and illicit activities on the internet and dark web that are prohibited by law enforcement.
“The idea of holding a programme involving teachers was started to ensure that children know about cyber security the day they start learning about computers,” said Pathak.
Starting from July of 2016, the Indian government and law enforcement focused on the crackdown of illicit dark web vendors and activities. On July 17, the Narcotics Control Bureau of India led its first known investigation into a domestic darknet vendor selling drugs on the dark web and distributing them throughout the country. During the investigation, the NCB and other major law enforcement agencies made it clear to the public that illicit dark wbe activities and drug distribution in India are prohibited and will be prosecuted accordingly.
Since then, Indian law enforcement exposed several major dark web operations supplying drugs into the country. On December 2, 2016, DeepDotWeb reported that a dark web drug distribution ring in India were arrested for smuggling xanax into the US. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) cracked down a group eight criminals who smuggled illegal drugs to the US by operating an independent airport. At the time, 15,000 assorted drugs were seized and officials in charge of the investigation said:
“The drugs would be packed in courier covers, sent to Delhi and then exported as health samples by Speed Post. There is no stringent checking of export consignments, making it easier for consignments to pass without hurdles. So, customers began procuring them from India. Here, it is easy to manipulate and drugs are cheaper.”
In consideration of such illicit activities currently ongoing in the dark web and the involvement of many teenagers in illegal operations, Delhi Police stated that the only responsible method of preventing teenagers of entering the dark web out of curiosity and inquisitiveness is to introduce safe online habits and potential legal consequences in participating in illegal dark web operations.
A senior police officer from the Delhi Police said:
“In the past one year over 800 policemen have been trained in cybercrime investigation.”
In December, Steve Wilson, the Europol head of European Cybercrime Center (EC3), raised a similar point as the Delhi Police. Upon the arrest of 34 teenagers guilty of leading dark web operations and launching DDoS attacks, Wilson emphasized the importance of educating teenagers to ensure that they don’t participate in illegal activities.
“Today’s generation is closer to technology than ever before, with the potential of exacerbating the threat of cybercrime. Many IT enthusiasts get involved in seemingly low-level fringe cybercrime activities from a young age, unaware of the consequences that such crimes carry. One of the key priorities of law enforcement should be to engage with these young people to prevent them from pursuing a criminal path, helping them understand how they can use their skills for a more constructive purpose,” said Wilson.