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AlphaBay, the Largest Online 'Dark Market,' Shut Down (justice.gov)
104 points by pero 12 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 130 comments

"'The so-called anonymity of the dark web is illusory,' said Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg of the DEA."

I wonder if this is true, or simply hyperbole. I'm extremely curios on the technical details of this bust.

Edit: It appears that some info can be found here https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/982821/downlo.... Look at the section "Alexandre Cazes: Alphabay's Founder and Operator"

It looks like the founder was extremely careless. His personal hotmail email was included in the header of the welcome email and password reset emails to Alphabay users. He used the same username on Alphabay on at least one forum before creating Alphabay. This username was tied with his personal email and name.

He seemed to be pretty careless about flaunting his wealth. These forum postings are referenced in the forfeiture complaint (NSFW):


Interestingly, the forum owner posted last week claiming he had suddenly passed away:


That first link paints a very unflattering image of Mr. Caze, and in his own words. I couldn't dream up a more perfect depiction of the despicable personalities at the core of cryptocurrency counter-culture.

It's interesting that people on that forum are calling him a liar for claiming to drive a Porsche etc. Reading it myself I was like "wow this guy is a liar, what a tall tale."

But then in the indictment (or whatever the correct term is for the legal document linked in the parent comment) they seize a Lamborghini and a Porsche and various villas and several big piles of money etc.

Color me surprised.

Not sure why you use the word "claiming" - he has passed away.

Dread Pirate Roberts was brought down by OPSEC using basic investigation skills (correlations between one online profile and his website from stackexchange and a security flaw on his hidden service website). I think its probably just good investigating this time.

See https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/how-the-feds-too... for more information about dread pirate Roberts.

The WIRED story about the fall of DPR, although I don't have it currently, spins the story as a two part epic- really good read.

It is a little bit of an exaggeration, there are going to be a lot of people that will get caught and a lot that will get away. The point of the statement is to reduce confidence in dark net markets so they are more likely to fail.

Hansa has already taken AB's place.

Apparently law enforcement seized Hansa a month earlier and were using it as a honeypot: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/07/after-alphabays-demise-c...

Brilliant setup. Seize both sites but only keep one down so you can document suspects migrating their criminal operations.

....aaaand it's gone

I wonder if the time was intentional to allow more people to be caught.

Wow it was up last night.

Are Tor hidden services compromised?

Yeah, and anyone who fled there is screwed, as it was already under the control of law enforcement. Whoops!

Maybe. In any case involving TOR, I would not dismiss the possibility of parallel construction.

Tor hidden servers with large traffic aren't too hard to find when you can see the entire internet and can shape traffic.

I think the future is a reputation network/market built on top of something like ethereum.

Exactly! Nation-state actors can find hidden services! TOR was not built for this type of activity. Why aren't more people mentioning this?

There's at least an element of truth to it. The old adage applies - law enforcement can screw up left and right, but a single slip by the folks they're chasing is all it takes.

This won't stop people who want drugs from buying them. What it'll do is prevent some people from buying them from reputable sellers with positive feedback. Now they might have to find some shady dealer who could be selling them rat poison.

Why is 'selling poison instead of drugs' even a logical scare-tactic? Wouldn't even the shadiest of dealers want to keep their customers/hosts/victims around to, you know, keep bleeding money?

And that's why nobody makes fakes or knock-offs, right? Because they'd lose their customer base once their customers purchase the product and find out it is not genuine.

They're are large profit margins to be made off of either cutting drugs (if you're nice, with something inert, if you're not, just with something cheap) or for things like LSD, selling research chemicals that are similar yet different and massively cheaper to manufacture/buy than the real thing.

You failed to connect the logic... selling a 'fake' or knock-off brand != selling poison. I wasn't secretly weighting the pros and cons of buying the no-name Tylenol last time I needed to cure a headache.

"Hmm, do I potentially poison myself for a savings of a couple of bucks? I might die... but it _is_ three bucks..."

>Wouldn't even the shadiest of dealers want to keep their customers/hosts/victims around to, you know, keep bleeding money?

Not really, no.

For example: spike heroin with fentanyl, user dies, other users flock to that dealer who supposedly has extremely high quality heroin.

This tactic doesn't work as much now that the fentanyl epidemic is widespread and known but it certainly happened in the past.

Also, many dealers are addicts themselves. If they run out of money and need more drugs, what's the chances they will sell some bullshit and claim it's something else? What if they get into some other kind of trouble and need fast cash?

> Wouldn't even the shadiest of dealers want to keep their customers/hosts/victims around to, you know, keep bleeding money?

Most illegal drugs are potentially deadly, and some share of users are going to die from them. Even rationally, cutting with cheaper but more toxic material can be justified if the increase in profit per transaction is sufficient to outweigh the reduction in the expected number of transactions per customer.

Of course, also, drug dealers may not always act rationally, and may not even understand the hazards (either in isolation or due to combination with the drug in question) posed by ingredients used to cut drugs.

It's not a logical tactic, just, without professional equipment (whose sale is restricted!) working with drugs whose doses are measured in micrograms is a hard task and likely to result in failure.

Why are the drugs in the illicit marketplace the ones with such small active doses? Prohibition strongly incentivises the manufacture/transport/sale of drugs with higher potency (per unit volume) -- as the odds of detection go up with bulkiness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_prohibition

I think it's less poison, and more just ensuring a quality product. Dealers can cut drugs with other cheaper ingredients to increase their profits. Having a reputable seller avoids these sorts of shenanigans.

There is currently an epidemic in Vancouver (among other cities) of overdose deaths from a drug called Fentanyl that is several orders of magnitude more potent than morphine. People want it because it is so potent, but the problem with extreme potency is that the difference between an imperceptible difference and a lethal dose is orders of magnitude smaller in terms of weight.

My guess is 'poison' was a slight hyperbole.

Few people actually want fentanyl. Some enjoy the patches, but it doesn't have the same feel as heroin/morphine/etc., though they're close enough to all get you high. It's just super cheap and available, illegally. When the cost of the equivalent dose is a tenth or even a quarter, well that's a huge selling point.

As always with opiates, the real issue is improper manufacturing/labeling. Even IV users would be mostly fine if they had properly labelled IV ampoules.

While I think the just of what you are saying is correct, remember that the fentanyl crisis has been happening for an incredibly long time. These people know what they are buying, and many dealers openly sell fentanyl now. Not to mention that when you talk about the fentanyl crisis you are talking about a very specific subset of people.

Rat poison is a bit extreme but I've seen one dealer crush up anti-histamines to cut with cocaine. He was making a fair bit of money.

Anti-histamines are not poisonous.

Nope but it's still not pleasant. Granted they're still snorting cocaine but do they want to short sedative antihistamines when they want a stimulant? Unlikely.

The point is dealers will cut with unsavoury shit. They're not stupid enough to cut with poison but they are stupid enough to cut with shit that will turn people away.

> Granted they're still snorting cocaine but do they want to short sedative antihistamines when they want a stimulant? Unlikely.

Actually it's not unlikely.. South Dallas has a problem with stuff - cheap heroin cut with Tylenol PM. cheap and common. about $3 a hit.

Heroin is a little bit different than cocaine. Cocaine is a much more social drug so you will see a larger number of non addict customers to addict customers.

Plus emphasis on sedative. Paracetamol has a synergistic effect with opiates. It wouldn't do the opposite of what it's meant to do. It's more like mixing caffeine tabs with heroin.

Heroin cut with Tylenol would be a non-issue to a heroin addict. Heroin is considered dirty to the many people who these dealers serviced (yeah I know). I doubt they served many of any cocaine addicts. Just people with nothing better to do on a Friday looking to have a "good time".

I know they no longer deal because one got run out of town after squandering about a thousand quids worth of the stuff on loan with nothing to show for it.

Dealers sell whatever they get. Users will generally buy whatever the dealers have. Most people don't test their drugs so they don't have any idea or just don't care what they're actually using. For example, some estimates are that >60% of "molly" in the U.S. is really bathsalts or meth.

Because 'dealers' that aren't interested in maintaining a 'going concern' could possibly make a quick buck – a 'killing' – in a market without strong info about seller's reputations.

That's one strategy, if said shady dealer was planning on being around. Cutting the drugs with a cheaper material, even if it's slightly poisonous, helps margins.

I think "poison" here means things more like Fentanyl, which has been recently cut into a lot of different opiates.

See the recent news about fentanyl.

If you never plan on selling to him again, and because you don't actually have anything.

Condolences to any users/vendors who lost coin because of the takedown.

Anybody have info on how the admin was found? Was the method of DDoSing Tor nodes used to force traffic into honeypot'd Tor nodes?

Yeah man, those poor poor vendors who make money on addicted users...

The single most highly traded item in terms of volume on most of these markets is pot, then non-addictive (but still potentially dangerous) drugs like MDMA.

The number of hardcore opioid addicts that have a laptop, internet connection, knowledge of bitcoin, someone to convert cash into a bitcoin balance, a tor installation, a good address to pick up from and a willingness to wait a week to get their fix delivered is likely fairly small.

And those types of users are, from what i've witnessed typically still highly functional members of society (lawyers, tech entrepreneurs, etc)

What are your thoughts on alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies that make money from addicted users?

Poor poor vendors who provide safety and reputation protection to addicts who would otherwise be in alleys.

They confiscated "millions of dollars" in cryptocurrencies. A similar darkweb site that just got taken down had 2 million euros in cryptocurrency confiscated.

The US federal (not state & local) government will spend over 27 Billion dollars in 2018 on the war on drugs. This site was around 11,739 times smaller than that annual budget. The global drug market was estimated at over 350 Billion in 2009, making the site approximately 152,173 times smaller than the global market.

replace one cartel with another

Don't these people know that they will never kill this. Just like Napster's death, and oink, and what, and so on. Every time they shut one of these down the next one will be harder to shut down.

Makes me think of that quote from the begining of Money by Choking Victim[0]:

>> The function is system sustaining, it is to contain that overall system, and you don't look at the particular cost. I could demonstrate to you that every single bank robbery, that in every single case, practically. The cost of the police was more than the actually money that robbers took from the bank. Does that mean OH you see theres no really no economic interest involved then. They're not protecting the banks, the police are just doing this because they're on a power trip, or they're macho, or ah they're control freaks, that's why they do it. NO of course it's an economic, of course they're defending the banks, of course, because if they didn't stop that bank robbery, regardless of the cost, this could jeopardize the entire banking system. You see there are people who believe the function of the police is to fight crime, and that's not true, the function of the police is social control and protection of property.

It's not about an end all be all it's about keeping it in check.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDLBGTkLgow

Of course they know that, just as murder investigators know they're never going to stop murder from happening.

Hell, in Napster's case, I'd bet half the folks involved went "woohoo!" then went home to listen to some pirated music.

Reminds me a bit of the canonical natural selection anecdote:


I mean, you say that, but after having oink go down on me, and more recently what, I've given up on pirating music, and I have to imagine others have done the same. You might be right about the next one being harder to shut down, maybe, but I would also expect the next one to be smaller because of the changing climate.

Edit: I mean, yeah, $10/mo for unlimited streaming was a factor. There are comparisons to the drug trade there, with regards to the number of legal sources increasing over time. My point stands.

The ability to stream nearly any music you want for $10/month through multiple services has probably done more for decreasing audio piracy than shutting down torrent sites.

This is exactly right, and the problem that our government just doesn't seem to 'get'.

If you want to stop people from doing something, you can't just take away their source, they will find another.. you have to give them a BETTER source.

With media, streaming services have done more to cut down in piracy than anything else.. it's convenient, so people will do it. If you're only paying a few dollars a month to save the frustration of finding movies/music, waiting to download, vs just clicking and having it right there. This is why things like Kodi were so popular, it's all about convenience.

Now drugs are not movies, but similar rules apply. Say one is addicted to heroin, and suddenly their source is taken away.. do you think they will just decide "Oh well, I am done with heroin now!", no, they will find another source. If you want to REALLY make a difference, give them a better/safer source, and help them. No one says "I want to be addicted to heroin", they have issues that cause them to be dependent on the drug (often pain). We DESPERATELY need to follow the lead of other countries and start providing drug havens for addicts. So many people die in this country ever year of opiate overdoses, with the solution right in front of our eyes (look at EU countries with drug clinics), but we refuse to do anything about it because our antiquated dinosaur politicians are afraid they will look like they support drug use; how they appear to the 1% is more important to them than saving tens of thousands of lives every year.


So yeah, giving people what they want actually stops illegal activity, who would have thought.

If they want to stop people doing illegal drugs the answer is quite simple, make them legal. Then we can't do illegal drugs, since they are legal.

I live in Japan, where illegal drugs and their halo of crime are not really relevant in any way to normal daily life. I'm not a crusader against recreational drug use, but I reject the hypothesis that legalization is the only path to eliminating the criminal drug industry. Here, stiff penalties and social disapproval, combined with a unique cooperation between (well) organized crime and capable, uncorrupted authorities work well.

Bit of a laugh about "uncorrupted authorities" (the Japanese political system is many things but hardly uncorrupted), but the uniqueness of Japanese crime structure is real. However, that structure relies on another addiction that is basically as powerful as drugs, completely legal, and relatively well-accepted by society: pachinko.

To me, it looks like any society with some form of inequality will inevitably need a way for the lower classes to escape their daily struggles. In some countries it's hardcore religion; in some it's drugs; in some it's alcohol; in some it's mindless gambling... Affinity for one or the other depends on a number of factors, but eventually we have to accept at least one of them if we want to keep society stable in the long run.

Well, yes I have to agree about pachinko. I was thinking more in terms of law enforcement and organized crime having a common cause in keeping foreign criminal syndicates out of Japan. Say what you will about the integrity of that arrangement, but I will never once walk the streets of Kyoto or Nagoya or just about anywhere else in Japan and worry about being caught in some crossfire, being mugged by a junkie, or being shaken down by a cop. On the other hand, I know that legitimate businesses pay protection money and I can see a yakuza HQ office from my penthouse apartment. All of that is a far cry from the insane, desperate chaos that I left behind on the streets of America.

>. I was thinking more in terms of law enforcement and organized crime having a common cause in keeping foreign criminal syndicates out of Japan.

But let's be honest, the yakuza want to keep foreign criminal syndicates out of Japan because they want a monopoly on organized crime in Japan, not because they want to keep the Japanese people safe from foreign criminals. The yakuza deal in extortion, blackmail, drugs, guns, prostitution, human trafficking, all of the same criminal activity any other syndicate does. They may not be as openly violent as other mafias, but they're not nice people.

Claiming they have a "common cause" with the police is to assume that the police have no issue with crime in Japan so long as it's Japanese committing those crimes, which I think cannot be true, and would be a sign of dereliction of duty if it were. From what I understand the yakuza are losing power in Japan because the police have been effectively cracking down on them... they're not comrades in arms.

Japan's organized crime is still the biggest and best organized in the world.

They very clearly play a role in keeping petty criminals from China, Korea, and South Asia off the streets of Japan, and it's no secret that the keisatsukan will turn a blind eye when the public interest is served. It's hard to overstate the tranquility of Japan in terms of crime. Yes, there is a rather open underworld of prostitution and that presumably includes human trafficking. But I've met gaijin girls in my language classes here who work as hostesses, and they clearly felt like they escaped from places like Indonesia and Philippines, and even in the seedy underworld here they had more opportunities than where they came from. (Anecdotal to be sure, but also first-hand.)

Also, I know restauranteurs who happily pay protection money and feel like it's a valuable service for them. Go figure.

The truly dirty business of Yakuza is moving heroin abroad--especially into the US--and that just isn't tolerated on the home front.

>But I've met gaijin girls in my language classes here who work as hostesses, and they clearly felt like they escaped from places like Indonesia and Philippines, and even in the seedy underworld here they had more opportunities than where they came from. (Anecdotal to be sure, but also first-hand.)

>Also, I know restauranteurs who happily pay protection money and feel like it's a valuable service for them. Go figure.

Although, one wouldn't expect them to publicly admit otherwise.

I never said it's the only path, just the most logical, easiest and obvious path. People are always going to do drugs. If you don't want them to do illegal drugs, then make them legal. It will eliminate illegal drug use overnight literally.

Then people can get the help they need and be treated as a disease if they are addicted. Stealing etc and all the other crime that comes from addicts are still crimes.

You're kidding yourself if you think Japan doesn't have drugs and crime related to it. I've met many a Japanese who loves a good smoke. It's really hard for them to get good smoke in Japan with all that anti drug control. Does it mean it's stops them wanting it? No?

You are in a fantasy world if you think Japanese people like "a good smoke". You obviously know absolutely nothing about real life in Japan.

I've said I've met a few. Not that all Japanese people are the same. Are you saying they are all exactly alike?

Japan has major problems with the abuse of easily available benzodiazepines and other pharmaceuticals, doesn't it?

From what I understand you can just buy flutoprazepam and some other fairly hardcore sedatives, so people abuse those.

Having the whole USA adopt Japanese culture norms seems about as hard and as likely as the drug war ending.

Ironically, Japan's current drug policy was largely motivated by post-war American policies imposed on it. Those policies were just implemented in a more serious and effective way.

Sure if I can nip to Tesco and pick up some k I'd absolutely stop using illegal dealers.

I've given up on pirating music but that is because I no longer need to. I can finally consume music in an easy way for a nominal fee.

They know, but this is their job anyways.

You can just view it as free high quality security tests. Sucks for a lot of people. But it already got so much stronger I wonder what comes next.

Huh? What's the 2017 version of Napster?

You can freely play most songs you want now (through youtube, bandcamp, soundcloud, spotify). I don't think there needs to be a 2017 version of Napster, because music isn't locked in physical albums anymore.


maybe that's the point - somehow also those people have to justify their paycheck until they retire.

DN users should really start using Monero instead of Bitcoin.

11,993 Monero were part of the seized assets.

= USD$480k according to https://coinmarketcap.com/ ... and about 1/30th of global Monero trading volume in the last 24 hours.

The source for assets seized is https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/982821/downlo... which also lists properties in various countries, vehicles, bank accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, etc.

Anyone else thing it's dodgy as hell that he offed himself in custody? Surely with all the assets he had, he'd have a pretty comfy lifestyle behind bars.

Certainly a definitive source coming from the DoJ, but they were shut down several weeks ago, and the arrested founder apparently committed suicide 6 days ago.

This announcement is timed in conjunction with the shutdown of "Hansa Market", which has been operating as a honeypot. They shut down AlphaBay, then users and vendors migrated to Hansa, which was already honeypotted, allowing police to capture login credentials for migrating vendors.

Take-away: if you're doing something illicit you'd better reconsider being dumb about passwords. Or would just user names / IPs have done them in?

You have to think eventually the criminals will evolve proper OPSEC - there is simply too much money to be made. Also, you really should be living in a place with no extradition - Thai police picking you up is a bad place to be. Vietnam is close by and has no extradition - a much better choice for aspiring criminals.

Or it will evolve to being run by Russian mobsters or North Korea--folks that are much harder to stop than random 25-year old geeks from America and Canada.

Yeah, there might already be one or two of those in existence already. :\

At the end of the day, the "outlaw" nation states are the ones that are going to be operating these things and then use the money to fund their black budgets.

It doesn't matter if they can be identified as long as they can change the bitcoin to cash in an allied country.

"Vietnam [...] has no extradition" {{citation-needed}}

https://www.bing.com/search?q="deported+from+vietnam" + https://www.google.com/search?q="deported+from+vietnam" suggest otherwise

This is overgeneralizing. A lot of criminals have good OPSEC. But then again many don't, possibly because they're not very technically proficient, or they don't fear getting caught, like many other criminals.

Also, often there are very simple solutions to potential problems from bad OPSEC practice. If they had just bribed the local police they could avoid getting caught, or get out easier. Just ask John McAfee!

I have a suspicion that good opsec is super hard. It only takes accidentally using an outdated tor client just once to reveal your location...

Typing the wrong password, public key, or even favorite bash prompt anywhere breaks opsec. Even a common typo would probably identify you pretty quickly.

Not having an extradition treaty doesn't mean you won't be deported.

Any more info out there on the technical details of the bust?


It is so sad.

Literally had a paypal with the same hotmail address he sent welcome emails with? WTF?

AB didn't send emails. At least not in the last 12 months.

It happened / was fixed 3 years ago.

Don't laugh, but what and how much is sold on darknet(s) ? weed ? cocaine ? weapons ? people ?

Mostly MDMA, LSD. To a lesser extent weed (harder to transport), coke, heroin, etc.

They do have actual bad things on these sites as well, such as the aforementioned weapons and people, but this is the subsection that we actually SHOULD be going after.

As far as how much; not much. As one other user had posted, one of these illicit markets represents approximately 1/150,000th of the world market. It is a non-issue that the government spends a lot of money on for the purpose of visibility and increased funding (Look at us! We busted the bad guys! We're doing good! Give us more money!).

::phew:: world is a safer place now


Yes no longer will we have to fear the hordes of hippies high on goopballs eating our babies and raping our pets!

Or, you know, just don't do illicit things.

You've continued to post unsubstantive comments and to use HN primarily for political and ideological battle. If you don't fix this, we're going to have to ban you again, so would you please fix this?

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14815722 and marked it off-topic.

I don't see how this is not unsubstantive. The story is about someone arrested for running an illegal drug market. My suggestion was to just not do that.

sure, but what is actually wrong with drug use? moral outrage? the sign of a decaying society? untold secondary consequences?

the problem is, people use drugs a lot. the war on drugs hasn't changed that in the least. we may have social issues, but as a "relatively upstanding and taxpaying citizen" who also happens to enjoy certain drugs on occasion, i ask. how exactly is my drug use impairing my ability to function in society? i get up and write software all day, why do you care if i get high when i get home?

I am actually sympathetic to your position, though I don't do illicit drugs (or any drugs). But, you would need to up your game if you really want to argue your case on HN. I can think of several good arguments, better than "Why do you care if I get high when I get home?", but this is probably the absolute worst place to have that discussion. You would also need to do a better job of picking your battles. I think neither of us did a good job with that in this case.


>But, you would need to up your game if you really want to argue your case on HN. I can think of several good arguments, better than "Why do you care if I get high when I get home?"

There IS no better argument. Pardon my language, but I think a large proportion of the HN community especially agrees with the sentiment of STAY THE HELL OUT OF MY BUSINESS. If what I am doing has no or marginal negative effect on others, as a free human being with rights to self actualization, personal fulfillment, and self-determination, no one has any right tell me what I can and cannot do with myself.

The drug war is fundamentally about the restriction of human rights and invasion of privacy.

Humans are social creatures. If you wish to participate in society -- and you basically have no choice these days, because there seems to be no place on earth where you can completely get away from society -- you have to accept constraints on yourself. Laws that work well put a lot of thought into trying to balance the rights of the group with the rights of the individual. Erring too far in one direction or the other winds up being inherently problematic for all parties. You can't have a healthy group if none of the individuals are healthy, and you can't have a healthy individual if the group as a whole is a sick system.

I can think of lots of better arguments than "stay the hell out of my business." But this thread does not look to me like fertile ground for trying to get into any of that.

>The drug war is fundamentally about the restriction of human rights and invasion of privacy.

The drug war discussions will eventually end up with the argument about whether one has complete autonomy over their body, which isn't the case, because suicide is still illegal. Hell, even euthanasia is so far away from being legal in most of the US.

You don't do any drugs at all? I find that hard to believe So no caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, aspirin etc? No vaccinations. So everything is non drugs at all?

What about all the drugs in your food like meat, do you not eat meat?

You can't say you don't do any drugs. You will say well of course I do X drug, but that's not really a drug like all those others.

Guilty as charged. I eat meat and I consume caffeine.

I even do so consciously and intentionally "for medicinal purposes." I even blog about that fact, which gets largely ignored by the world, never mind that it is obviously revolutionary. However, like Rodney Dangerfield, I get no respect.

But, I have never smoked, I rarely drink alcohol and it has been a lot of years since I took either prescription drugs or OTC drugs or even had a vaccine. (Now cue the folks who will accuse me of being an evil piece of shit anti-vaxxer.)

It's great to hear that you don't do any drugs at all. I'm assuming you don't drink coffee/tea, wine/beer, smoke, or take any pharmaceutical medications. Congratulations on not being a hypocrite! You are in the proud 0.0001% of people who follow this strict code.

For the rest of us mere mortals, I suppose we will have to continue taking our medications.

"sure, but what is actually wrong with drug use?"

I don't care; that's not what's being debated here. The fact of the matter is, it's illegal, and anyone who sets up a drug marketplace today knows that. They set it up with full knowledge that they are breaking the law. If they wish to campaign to have drug laws reworked, I'm all for that and wish them the best of luck. But they're not doing that; they're setting up a marketplace with the intentions of making lots of money. They're not fighting for freedom or anything like that; they're just trying to make a quick buck.

And please don't respond with any kind of false equivalence bs. Getting high is not any kind of civil rights struggle. It's nice, but that's it. It is absolutely nothing like civil rights struggles of the past, and comparing it to such events is an extreme disrespect to those struggles and those who went through them.

The fact of the matter is, it's illegal

So was interracial marriage for a long time. So was same sex marriage. Meanwhile, slavery and wife beating were perfectly legal at one time.

Laws are written by people. "It is illegal" is not a moral argument. It simply is not. Asserting that it is illegal completely sidesteps the question asked concerning morality.


I got news for you, buddy, no one cares what you want them to respond with. When you make garbage arguments you will get called out.

Some laws are dumb, and civil diosobedience in the form of a mass breaking of those laws is often the best way.

> Getting high is not any kind of civil rights struggle.

You're right, it's not. At it's core it is a matter of pure, absolute personal choice and that is far more fucking important.

If I want to consume a naturally occuring substance recreationally and I'm not harming anyone, then anyone who disapproves can try to stop me clack clack.

Getting high is not any kind of civil rights struggle. It's nice, but that's it.

I think this is a logical and well reasoned attitude if you are living in an ivory tower and have never been close to an addict. People mostly become addicts in response to something bad happening in their lives.

Punishing fellow human beings for an addiction is wrong. Addicts need treatment and support not punishment.

This may not be a civil rights issue, more common sense and basic decency.

>People mostly become addicts in response to something bad happening in their lives

This is absolutely untrue. It would seem that you are living in an ivory tower of your own. I won't recount anecdote, but take a look at this source[1].

1. http://theinfluence.org/do-we-overstate-the-role-trauma-play...

There's a difference between punishing an addict, and removing access to their provider. At this point, the conversation tends to fork into a discussion on least harm. Nevertheless, when marketplaces like AlphaBay and others are shut down, it's the operators, and sometimes the vendors, who are explicitly punished, not the addicts.

It's still not. And I am entirely in favor of getting those people help instead of locking them away.

But we're talking about those that set up the stores. They're clearly not helping any of those addicts. And they make a very conscious decision to do something that they know right now breaks the law.

Slaving used to be legal, and helping them escape was illegal. Anyone who helps slaves escape set it up with the full knowledge they are breaking the law.

This is not a valid rebuttal. Slavery and selling drugs are nowhere near the same thing, and by equating the two, you do a massive disrespect to those who fought for that. Slavery is a civil rights issue; selling drugs is not.

No you are conflating that since something is illegal ergo it's wrong. The point that you're missing is that laws can be wrong and can be changed. Just because something is currently illegal does not make it wrong.

i don't see the point in respecting a law that i don't agree with

For the most part, every single person who breaks any kind of a law doesn't agree with the law they're breaking.

Then work to get it repealed. But I can't have any sympathy for you if you decide to start up a drug selling store, and then get busted for doing something you knew at the time was illegal.

i didn't ask for sympathy either. i know i'm breaking the law, i'm explaining why

Yet, this is an article about someone who did get busted for selling drugs. And people in this thread are acting like it was some kind of huge civil rights violation. It's not. He wasn't any kind of freedom fighter. He was trying to make a quick buck.

Your arguments are so baseless and outright ignorant that when I attempt to think about a counter it just makes my brain hurt.. it doesn't matter what points are brought up, you will ignore them all. Have fun being right all the time in your head.

From now on I'll be sure to only do things that you personally approve of.

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