Another glimpse into a world I’ll never visit

Fun thing about reading widely on the ‘net is I get to look into worlds that I’ll never, ever visit on my own. Like the world of buying guns and dope online.

Worlds far away I’ll never visit

11/1 – Economist – The Amazons of the darknet – If you thought the days of buying dope and illegal guns on the ‘net ended when the feds took down Silk Road a year ago, think again.The article describes the world of crypto-markets, another world I’ll never get to see.

There is actually an outfit that tracks the offerings in 18 crypto-markets. This group says the number of listings grew from 41k in 1/14 to 66k in 8/14. The three largest vendors reportedly have more listings than Silk Road.

Biggest offerings apparently are drugs, either otherwise prescription or flat-out illegal. You can also reportedly find weapons, fake IDs, and stolen credit & debit cards.

As with other on-line venues for buying stuff, there is a ratings system to provide feedback on the quality of product and service levels. That way you can have a comfortable level of trust in the illegal vendors selling you illegal products who commit wire fraud by taking your order and commit mail fraud by shipping your stuff via first class mail. As I think about it, leaving a one-star rating is more recourse against your drug peddler than you would have on the street corner. Sorta’ wierd though.

Amazing. An entire other world that I had no idea even existed.

Remember, the ‘net and all the other cool technology is only a tool. As with all tools, the nifty, neato gizmos can be used for good or ill.

11/7 – Wall Street Journal – Arrests Signal Breach in “Darknet” Sites – Good followup to above article – Police in the US and Europe busted a number of ‘darknet’ sites and arrested some operators.

Biggest news is officials have been able to identify Tor users. That is a big deal because that encryption technology is supposed to not only use unbreakable encryption but also completely hide all users by routing messages all around the world before getting to the destination. That means your message is secure and you aren’t even associated with the traffic.

Like I’ve said, these are glimpses of worlds I’ll only learn about by what I read online.

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