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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 11 2015, @05:48AM   Printer-friendly
from the darker-than-dark dept.

Russell Berman writes at The Atlantic that the government may have won its case against Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht, but the high-profile trial gave a lot of publicity to the dark web, and both the number of sites and the volume of people using them have increased since Silk Road was shuttered. “Just as on the rest of the internet, users on the dark net are very quick to move on to new things and move away from those products and websites that seem stale and old,” says Adam Benson. The cat-and-mouse game between users of the dark web and law enforcement appears to be shifting as well. Newer dark sites (two major ones are Agora and Evolution) are likely to protect their servers by basing them in countries "hostile to U.S. law enforcement," says Nicholas Weaver. "The markets will keep moving overseas, but law enforcement will keep going after the dealers," Weaver says, referring to the people who actually ship and deliver the drugs sold online.

Evolution Marketplace is a much different animal than Silk Road, according to Dan Palumbo, the group’s research director. Evolution sells "weapons, stolen credit cards, and more nefarious items that were forbidden on both versions of Silk Road. Silk Road sold a lot of dangerous things, but operators drew the line at their version of ‘victimless crimes,’ i.e. no child pornography, weapons, or identity theft. Now, four of the top five DarkNet Marketplaces sell weapons while three of the top five sell stolen financial data." This is a darker DarkNet and it speaks to the challenge facing law enforcement as they knock one set of bad actors offline, another comes along with bigger and bolder intentions.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tibman on Wednesday February 11 2015, @05:05PM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 11 2015, @05:05PM (#143669)

    That's because it has to be a winnable war in order to win.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tathra on Wednesday February 11 2015, @08:42PM

    by tathra (3367) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @08:42PM (#143758)

    this article is a good example of why the "War on Drugs" is unwinnable. no matter how many dealers or suppliers or chemists they bust, there will always be new ones popping up to fill the power void and collect some of the insanely high profit margins created by prohibition. the best possible scenario is for the market to be watched and regulated so it can be as safe as possible for both the buyers and sellers and so there can be some control over who can purchase (eg, age restrictions), because the market will exist and without regulation the black market defaults to anything-goes. because of drug prohibition, kids can easily get all the cocaine and heroin they could ever want, but because alcohol is regulated its much harder for kids to get.