Culture

Is the Silk Road Bust Going to Become Every Internet Drug Dealer’s Nightmare?

Culture

Is the Silk Road Bust Going to Become Every Internet Drug Dealer’s Nightmare?

More like Silk Road To Ruin, AMIRITE? Looks like online criminals may need to get even craftier.
+

The life of an internet drug dealer sounds chill enough: sit around, probably smoke some weed, play videogames, clock in an hour or so on TOR, and mail some packages. Possibly meet some up-the-ladder sketchball (who is maybe even a friend) once in a while to make a pickup because outdated puritanical power structures ensure that drugs are not safely sold by legitimate businesses. Could be worse, right?

Not for the 4 men who were arrested in the UK yesterday, the first of the Silk Road bust fallout we’ve seen since its URL ringmaster Dread Pirate Roberts’ apprehension. “These latest arrests are just the start; there are many more to come,” said NCA Director General Keith Bristow. While the arrests took place on British soil, they were a team effort between UK and US law enforcement to zero in on “significant” Silk Road users, leading us to wonder whether this will mean arrests across multiple international jurisdictions, at least in those two countries, possibly even of Silk Road customers as well as vendors.

The bottom line? TOR (the “anonymous” browser) may be an innovative and need-serving technology, but it does not guarantee foolproof anonymity, particularly when good old human error is accounted for. And while it may not be prudent to assume that international law enforcement has mapped out the entire darknet and go all NSA on its users, in the Russian roulette game of illegal employment, somebody’s always gonna get the chamber with the bullet.It’s probably best all around to ensure 100% that it’s not you, even if you’ve got to give up some money and (non-gender-specific) babes in the process. You can do this, bro.

Or, you know, the drug trade should be decriminalized, taxed, and federally regulated, and we should focus on punishing harmful behaviors like theft or violence as a result of addiction because a) it has been tangibly proven to improve the lives of the entire community including non-users and b) our country is an economic shithole run by clammy, quivering, jelly-spined buffoons and people could use the bailout AND the chillout, maaaaan.

But seriously, folks.