- Street: Mosegardsvej 53
- City: Kobenhavn K
- State: Oregon
- Country: Denmark
- Zip/Postal Code: 1066
The darknet – a wild west for fake coronavirus ‘cures ‘? The reality is harder (and regulated)
The coronavirus pandemic has spawned reports of unregulated health products and fake cures being sold on the dark web. These generally 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 more focused public attention on this little-understood area of the internet. Nearly a decade as it started being utilized on a significant scale, the dark web remains a lucrative safe haven for traders in a variety 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 are anonymised trading platforms that directly connect buyers and sellers of a variety of illegal goods and services – similar to legitimate trading websites such as for example eBay.
So how can darknet marketplaces work? And how much illegal trading of COVID-19-related products is happening via these online spaces?
Not really a free-for-all
There are now more than a dozen darknet marketplaces in operation. Protected by powerful encryption technology, authorities around the globe have largely failed to contain their growth. A steadily increasing proportion of illicit drug users around the globe report sourcing their drugs online. In Australia, we have among the world market onion – cosmic-cryoem.org – http://cosmic-cryoem.org/forums/topic/world-market-is-bound-to-make-an-affect-in-your-business/ -‘s highest concentrations of darknet drug vendors per capita.
Unlike popular belief, cryptomarkets are not 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 away from realm of state regulation, each one of these is initiated and maintained by a central administrator who, alongside employees or associates, is accountable for the market’s security, dispute resolution between buyers and sellers, and the charging of commissions on transactions.
Administrators may also be ultimately responsible for determining exactly what do and can’t be sold on their cryptomarket. These decisions are most likely informed by:
the attitudes of the surrounding community comprising buyers and sellers
the extent of consumer demand and supply for certain products
the revenues a niche site makes from commissions charged on transactions
and the perceived “heat” that could be attracted from police in the trading of particularly dangerous illegal goods and services.
Experts delve in to the dark web
A report from the Australian National University published last week talks about several hundred coronavirus-related products available across a dozen cryptomarkets, including supposed vaccines and antidotes.
While the analysis confirms some unscrupulous dark web traders are indeed exploiting the pandemic and seeking to defraud naïve customers, this information ought to be contextualised with a couple of important caveats.
Firstly, the number of dodgy covid-related products for sale on the dark web is relatively small. According to the research, they take into account about 0.2% of all listed items. The overwhelming most products were those we’re already knowledgeable about – particularly illicit drugs such as for instance cannabis and MDMA.
Also, while the research centered on products listed available, these are usually listings for products that either do no exist or are listed with the specific intention to defraud a customer.
Thus, the specific sale of fake coronavirus “cures” on the dark web is probable minimal, at best.
32 toplam, 1 bugün