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Evolving Reality: The Strategic Shift in Crypto-Drug Market Enforcement

Martin Horton-Eddison

Intersessional of the 62nd session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Swansea University Author: Martin Horton-Eddison

Abstract

In response to law enforcement operations and other factors, Crypto-Drug Markets (CDMs) are technologicallyadaptive. Tomorrow’s CDMs appear likely to be both decentralised – i.e having no centraladministration – and geographically distributed – with no central servers. Thesedevelopments will render...

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Published in: Intersessional of the 62nd session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Published: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna, Austria Intersessional of the 62nd session of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs 2018
Online Access: https://www.cstfondrugs.org/civil-society-presentations/october-intersessional/
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa46014
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Abstract: In response to law enforcement operations and other factors, Crypto-Drug Markets (CDMs) are technologicallyadaptive. Tomorrow’s CDMs appear likely to be both decentralised – i.e having no centraladministration – and geographically distributed – with no central servers. Thesedevelopments will render takedown completely obsolete. Law enforcement strategy willhave to continue to innovate in order to keep pace with these developments, becomingincreasingly more specialised, time consuming, and expensive – in turn. There maytherefore be a need to balance the increasing expenditure against likely harm – forexample considering market management approaches over purely punitive enforcement – as we are increasingly seeing in offline policy shifts around the world. Efforts such astargeting only the most pernicious of vendors - rather than whole Crypto Drug Marketsphere - may be one efficient strategy, allowing policy makers to more effectively balancethe need to influence serious negative behaviour, with a nuanced awareness of thepotential for CDMs to reduce both personal and social harm.
Keywords: Dark Net, Drug Markets, Cyrpto-Drug Markets, Intelligence, Drug Law Enforcement, Strategy, United Nations, Commission for Narcotic Drugs
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences