Information technology is mostly seen as a boon but can prove to be a bane as cyber criminals rampantly misuse the internet due to the anonymity inherent in it. One
such crime growing at an alarming rate is wildlife trafficking on the internet. With the proliferation of B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) enterprises online; and rampant use of social media and bitcoins; law enforcement teams are challenged by rising wildlife cybercrime rackets. The technical complexity, ease of camouflaging real Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, use of onion routing, the dark web, easy to change identities and location details all make tracking and monitoring of cyber space extremely difficult.
In India, a special law protects its wildlife, the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 (WPA). The Act contains provisions that prohibit trafficking and trade of wildlife and prescribe punishments and penalties therefor. Hunting of wild animals listed under Schedule I to VI of the WPA and trade in their body parts and derivatives is prohibited under the Act. Section 51 of the said Act prescribes punishment of up to three years that can extend up to seven years and a fine of up to INR25,000 (USD350) or both for contravening provisions prohibiting wildlife trafficking.