- Street: Brandenburgische Str 73
- City: Muhlpfad
- State: Mississippi
- Country: Germany
- Zip/Postal Code: 56291
The darknet – a wild west for fake coronavirus ‘cures ‘? The truth is more complicated (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 such as 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 with this little-understood element of the internet. Nearly a decade since it started being used on a significant scale, the dark web remains a lucrative safe haven for traders in a selection 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 selection of illegal goods and services – much like legitimate trading websites such as for instance eBay.
So how can darknet marketplaces work? And just how much illegal trading of COVID-19-related products is happening via these online spaces?
Not a free-for-all
There are still higher than a dozen darknet marketplaces in operation. Protected by powerful encryption technology, authorities around the world market (natalsmart.com – https://natalsmart.com/forums/users/dwainneely518/edit/?updated=true/users/dwainneely518/) have largely didn’t contain their growth. A steadily increasing proportion of illicit drug users around the globe report sourcing their drugs online. In Australia, we have one of many world’s highest concentrations of darknet drug vendors per capita.
Contrary to 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 beyond your realm of state regulation, each one of these is set up and maintained by a main administrator who, along side employees or associates, is accountable for the market’s security, dispute resolution between buyers and sellers, and the charging of commissions on transactions.
Administrators are also ultimately responsible for determining so what can and can’t be sold on their cryptomarket. These decisions tend informed by:
the attitudes of the surrounding community comprising buyers and sellers
the extent of consumer demand and supply for many products
the revenues a website makes from commissions charged on transactions
and the perceived “heat” that may be attracted from police force in the trading of particularly dangerous illegal goods and services.
Experts delve to the dark web
A report from the Australian National University published the other day looks at several hundred coronavirus-related products on the market across several 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, these details must certanly be contextualised with a couple of important caveats.
Firstly, the number of dodgy covid-related products available on the dark web is relatively small. According to this research, they account for about 0.2% of all listed items. The overwhelming most of products were those we are already acquainted with – particularly illicit drugs such as for instance cannabis and MDMA.
Also, while the analysis dedicated to products listed for sale, these are most likely listings for products that either do no exist or are listed with the specific intention to defraud a customer.
Thus, the particular sale of fake coronavirus “cures” on the dark web is probable minimal, at best.
64 toplam, 1 bugün