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.
Interestingly, the forum owner posted last week claiming he had suddenly passed away:
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.
See https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/10/how-the-feds-too... for more information about dread pirate Roberts.
Are Tor hidden services compromised?
I think the future is a reputation network/market built on top of something like ethereum.
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.
"Hmm, do I potentially poison myself for a savings of a couple of bucks? I might die... but it _is_ three bucks..."
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?
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.
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
My guess is 'poison' was a slight hyperbole.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
>> 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
It's not about an end all be all it's about keeping it in check.
Hell, in Napster's case, I'd bet half the folks involved went "woohoo!" then went home to listen to some pirated music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>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.
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?
From what I understand you can just buy flutoprazepam and some other fairly hardcore sedatives, so people abuse those.
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.
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.
https://www.bing.com/search?q="deported+from+vietnam" + https://www.google.com/search?q="deported+from+vietnam" suggest otherwise
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!
Typing the wrong password, public key, or even favorite bash prompt anywhere breaks opsec. Even a common typo would probably identify you pretty quickly.
It is so sad.
Literally had a paypal with the same hotmail address he sent welcome emails with? WTF?
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!).
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14815722 and marked it off-topic.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
For the rest of us mere mortals, I suppose we will have to continue taking our medications.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.