As the internet continues to penetrate all facets of life, some unfortunate uses of it are bound to occur. This is just a fact of having a globally connected network, where users can easily remain anonymous and police intervention is a tricky matter. The online black-market “Silk Road” is a marketplace, not unlike Amazon, but for recreational drugs. Purchasers and sellers use random IP generating “Tor” browsers to access their anonymous accounts, and make transactions which are shipped anywhere from down the street to across the world.
Due to the invention, and now huge success of BitCoin, there is no need for services like PayPal which could track users activity. This has created a huge problem for law enforcement, especially in the area of jurisdiction. It’s extremely hard to determine the location of either the customer or seller because they use random IP generating “Tor” browsers and never use real names or use any personal information on the site. However, some strides have been made to track packages containing drugs sent from the site. Just last month an arrest of a drug dealer who was using the site to sell cocaine and methamphetamine was made in Australia.
Despite this recent arrest the future of “Silk Road”, for the time being remains profitable. Although the site first gained the attention of police in 2011 world-wide, the site remains online and growing. What will the world do about this black-market? Have drug dealers found a sustainable legal loop-hole similar to international waters? Only time will tell.