Darknet drug markets kept alive by great customer service.
August 24, 2014 10:37 AM Subscribe
posted by bookman117 (36 comments total)
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long before eBay or Amazon, students from Stanford University in California and MIT in Massachusetts conducted the first ever ecommerce transaction. Using the "Arpa-net" account at their artificial intelligence lab, the Stanford students sold their counterparts a small amount of marijuana. Ever since, the net has turned over a steady but small trade in illicit narcotics. But last year approximately 20 per cent of UK drug users scored online. The majority of them went to one place: the dark net markets.
The most infamous of these dark net markets was called the Silk Road. In October 2013, following a lengthy investigation, the Silk Road was closed down (the trial of 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who the FBI allege ran the site, is ongoing -- Ulbricht denies all charges). But as soon as it was knocked offline, copycat sites were launched
by anonymous operators to fill the gap. In November 2013 there were a small handful of these marketplaces: there are now around 30. Pandora, Outlaw Market, 1776 Market Place -- and most of them are doing a decent trade. Between January and April 2014, "Silk Road 2.0" -- set up within a month of the original being busted -- processed well over 100,000 sales. But the most shocking thing about these sites is not how many there are, but how they are changing the drugs industry. They work exceptionally well.