- Street: 2346 Harron Drive
- City: Windsor Mill
- State: Minnesota
- Country: United States
- Zip/Postal Code: 21244
The darknet – a wild west for fake coronavirus ‘cures ‘? The truth is harder (and regulated)
The coronavirus pandemic has spawned reports of unregulated health products and fake cures being obsessed about the dark web. These include black market PPE, illicit medications like the widely touted “miracle” drug chloroquine, and fake COVID-19 “cures” including blood supposedly from recovered coronavirus patients.
These dealings have once again focused public attention with this little-understood area of the internet. Nearly 10 years as it started being used on an important scale, the dark web continues to be a lucrative safe haven for traders in a range of illegal goods and services, especially illicit drugs.
Black market trading on the dark web is carried out primarily through darknet marketplaces or cryptomarkets. They’re anonymised trading platforms that directly connect buyers and sellers of a variety of illegal goods and services – similar to legitimate trading websites such as eBay.
So how do darknet marketplaces work? And simply how much illegal trading of COVID-19-related products is happening via these online spaces?
Not just a free-for-all
There are currently more than a dozen darknet marketplaces in operation. Protected by powerful encryption technology, authorities all over the world have largely failed to contain their growth. A steadily increasing proportion of illicit drug users around the world report sourcing their drugs online. In Australia, we’ve one of the World Market – http://cgi.www5c.biglobe.ne.jp/~mokada/cgi-bin/g_book.cgi/rk=cookiekal.blogspot.com/2020/10/g_book.cgi’s highest concentrations of darknet drug vendors per capita.
Despite popular belief, cryptomarkets aren’t the “lawless spaces” they’re often presented as in the news. Market prohibitions exist on all mainstream cryptomarkets. Universally prohibited goods and services include: hitman services, trafficked human organs and snuff movies.
Although cryptomarkets lie outside the realm of state regulation, every one is set up and maintained by a central administrator who, along side employees or associates, is responsible for the market’s security, dispute resolution between buyers and sellers, and the charging of commissions on transactions.
Administrators will also be ultimately responsible for determining so what can and can’t be sold on the cryptomarket. These decisions tend informed by:
the attitudes of the surrounding community comprising buyers and sellers
the extent of consumer demand and supply for several products
the revenues a website makes from commissions charged on transactions
and the perceived “heat” that may be attracted from police in the trading of particularly dangerous illegal goods and services.
Experts delve in to the dark web
A written report from the Australian National University published a week ago looks at several hundred coronavirus-related products on the market across twelve cryptomarkets, including supposed vaccines and antidotes.
While the research confirms some unscrupulous dark web traders are indeed exploiting the pandemic and seeking to defraud naïve customers, these records should be contextualised with several important caveats.
Firstly, the amount of dodgy covid-related products available on the dark web is relatively small. According to this research, they account fully for about 0.2% of most listed items. The overwhelming most of products were those we’re already familiar with – particularly illicit drugs such as for example cannabis and MDMA.
Also, while the research dedicated to products listed on the market, these are most likely listings for products that either do no exist or are listed with the particular intention to defraud a customer.
Thus, the particular sale of fake coronavirus “cures” on the dark web is likely minimal, at best.
47 toplam, 1 bugün