[EDIT2: OK, I agree that calling it the "FreeMarket" may be a wise move, it nevertheless reminded me a bit of the same game that the politicians play by using words like "criminal", "illicit", etc. in reference to the War on Drugs: manipulation via the negative connotation of words. If on the other hand, like Riseed pointed out in a reply below, what you're saying is that it's simply more accurate to call it a free market, then I agree, that's a strong stance to take.]
We need to turn the tables on these politicians. The truth is that they are the inhumane ones. They are responsible for millions of deaths and atrocities thanks to their support of the War on Drugs. [EDIT3: for citations see: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7656095 ]
"Illicit goods"? How about illicit politicians? War criminals whose face is framed in your neighborhood government office?
Call a spade a spade. The War on Drugs is a War on Humanity. It is literally responsible for more collective human suffering than the Holocaust.
EDIT: Unfortunate to see fellow HN'ers downvoting me on this issue. Don't want to here it from me? Maybe you'll find Richard Branson and H.L. Mencken more appealing:
In my opinion: most people incorrectly read an axiomatic nature to the "non-violence" (revolutionary) approach of Ghandi. Ghandi was not a pacifist in the lay sense. He was a pacifist in the terms of Vedic consciousness and was a daily student of Bhagavad Gita;
And that would prompt the question of why did he opt for non-violence as the 'correct' approach;
And per my analysis, he did so because he recognized that the British Empire motivated its political balast -- from aristocracy down to plebe; whatever held it together -- by the declared shared justification that "we are civilizing the world.";
And Ghandi basically put all of his forces towards attacking that notion;
And by demonstrating (beyond argument) to balast of the British Empire that Ghandi and the Indian Nationalists were in fact more civilized than the Empire, he basically demoralized the affective corps of that Empire. That is why he won.
In the current situation, the fraction of 1% that truly wield global power in our world view us nearly in sub-human terms. And the corporate mirror to the world -- under their control -- pretty much paints their opinion of "us".
To take your example, the motivation for the policy decisions that are accepted by the current regime's 'political balast' -- these are the bright young things furnished by the scientific, academic, cultural, and economic mills -- is their (pretty accurate) assessment that without the police force, without the governing order, the un-washed brethren would eat them up like so much cake. So here, the internalized justification is that "at least this violence is policy driven and under control".
If the layer under the elite balast -- that's the middle class -- demonstrates that they are thoughtful & capable of self determination and self ordering, then this order of things will collapse, just like the British Empire.
So, it is entirely appropriate to remember that "a people get the government that they deserve".
It's about the belief that capitalism is the true(est) reflection of personal worth and that monetary wealth itself determines personal value.
In the future I predict that technology will let us return to the original notion for which money is but an imperfect proxy: credit, or deservingness.
It's not until the wealth of the rich actually becomes dependent on their goodwill that they will behave as though it is.
You don't have to play the politicians word games but totally disregarding their MO is playing into their hand.
I understood it to say not only that "FreeMarket" would be a convenient name because it sounds like "free market", but also to say that such a place/site/network actually is the free market because if someone wants to buy X for $Y, and someone wants to sell X for $Y, then a transaction happens, end of story.
In other words, "FreeMarket" is simply an honest and straightforward name for what it is (or strives to be).
AFTER EDIT: I note a downvote for disagreement. So I will ask the obvious follow-up question. With what part of the two questions I originally posted do you disagree, and what facts and reasoning should I consider to change my opinion?
Although Nixon declared the War on Drugs public enemy number one in
1971, the policies that his administration implemented as part of the
Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 were a
continuation of drug prohibition policies in the U.S., which started in
In Mexico, the "official count" (always an underestimate) is now over 100k. 
In Afghanistan, Opium has played a major role in almost every war and genocide, where deaths have exceeded several million. 
You can do your own research for the number of deaths that the War on Drugs has caused in just about every country on the planet (Russia, China, all countries in South America, especially Columbia). Summed up "millions of deaths" is easily accounted for by bad drug-related policies.
And that's not even counting all the drug-related deaths that are caused thanks to illicit drugs being illicit. How many people have blamed the deaths of their loved ones on "illegal drugs" when the truth is that it is the War on Drugs that killed their son, spouse, loved one? When you don't know what you're actually ingesting/smoking/injecting (as a consequence of the substances being illegal and not regulated), again the death toll leads to the millions.
And then there's the number of lives ruined (not killed)...
AFTER EDIT: I'm still not seeing any historical or transnational policy comparison support from reliable sources for the proposition that the original comment to which I asked two follow-up questions is factually correct in the context of this thread, which is about a proposal for a secure online network and not specifically about legalization of the sale of currently prohibited drugs.
Nor am I saying that this "DarkMarket" will make our lives safer. We need these drugs legalized and regulated on the open market. That would make all the difference.
Submitters: please double-check the article you post for links to an original source. If there is one, please post it instead.
That's exactly right. There's a flag for off-topic subthreads that I put on most of these, so they don't interfere with the real discussion.
The fix won't be permanent until I find a few hours to get back to the damn code. But at least it's live at the moment.
The article begins by saying, "The Silk Road . . . still offered its enemies a single point of failure," referring to Silk Road being hosted on a single server. Well, that is the KNOWN point of failure for keeping Silk Road impervious to law enforcement, but there may have been other points of failure in Silk Road's design. About the proposed DarkMarket, the article writes, "DarkMarket, Taaki and its other developers admit, is still just an experimental demonstration. They have yet to integrate anonymity protections like Tor into the software; currently every user’s IP address is listed for every other user to see." The proposal needs a lot more work to become a practical proposal for attempting to evade law enforcement scrutiny. Whether or not DarkMarket is ever implemented, and whether or not it will work as expected if it is implemented, are still open questions. The biggest open question is whether or not there will be ways for law enforcement efforts to reach into the DarkMarket even if it works in practice as the proposals suggests it is meant to work.
* attacks are hard to predict
* law enforcement is interested in attacking
* being hosted on a single server is just one way to make something attackable
* the proposal needs more work
* whether this actually works is an open question
* the real question is whether law enforcement will be able to attack
In a nutshell, this is circular logic that ends where it begins, and makes no journeys elsewhere. It makes no technical criticism of DarkMarket, references no historical or similar examples, and offers no extra information from other sources (such as the source code).
So, I down-voted, and wonder why all the up-votes.
If you look at a lot of the best practices documentation for Tor it makes everything sound like a huge hassle  so I can believe making a system secure against the concerted efforts of law enforcement is complicated.
This is a p2p system meaning that by definition you cannot take the market down by arresting a single person. It doesn't say it is secure against everything. It just says that as long as the source code/binary is somehow available, it will not be possible to completely shutdown.
The beauty is security vulnerabilities come and go (as in gets patched) so those are not the main concerns here. Even if they decide to tap every communication to identify the transactions and manage to decrypt it, it is going to help for a single raid and then it will get patched.
But I'm going to reserve judgement until I've seen it working.
It is human intelligence or infiltration by actors with a hidden loyalty. This has worked since the time immemorial for all sorts of security systems.
For FBI to bring it down they'll just need to repeat what they've done with Silk Road - pose as a straw buyers, get everyone they touch on record and use them to identify/arrest the users. Put out a request for a contract killing and arrest all responders. Bonus for putting a bounty on members turning in other members.
Even if this won't "shut down" the system itself, it would make it impossible to use safely.
It's wired.com. They aggrandize words in their title to get you to click. Everything they publish is apparently amazing, ever, never, finally, extreme, and "why this thing we wont name in the title is X (because we want you to click before you realize it's just the inane bullshit you thought it would be)" and the same kind of upworthy nonsense you see everywhere these days.
In my opinion Wired is killing their brand with their current editorial policy, at least for discerning minds. Maybe they just want a stupid, incredulous semi-literate mob to click. I guess advertisers don't give a shit, because maybe the people that click ads are the people who click titles like that. It may just be the direction ad supported sites have to go.
It's unfortunate that they see this as a "next generation black market;" why couldn't something like this also disrupt eBay or Craigslist? Or something more important in places that have less free markets? The basic tenants should also work for good, not just drugs/guns/etc.
why couldn't something like this also disrupt eBay or Craigslist?
I would love to use an anonymous ebay and there are plenty of normal things I would like to buy without it being tied back to my real world name.
I don't use eBay much, but is Craigslist really something that invites disruption? It's dependable, there are no arbitrary stupid limitations, everyone uses it, and it's free. The only tactic that could beat that combination would be an overwhelming onslaught of marketing.
Would be nice to see some kind of design paper, threat model, etc. Of course a PoC is supposed to be a PoC - good for them, for releasing code that works :) but, people might end up using it and trusting it. So gotta ask those questions.
Why aren't there any of these guys trying to build this sort of thing on-top of https://gnunet.org/ ?
Could you make a market like this anonymous in the same fashion? Even if the Feds seized one node they'd have only seized one node?
GNUnet can be used to build a darknet of any sort: P2P chat, a social networking application, email, you name it. Brilliant people are plugging away at it to build a platform for people with less knowledge of cryptography (like me) to build this sort of stuff on top of.
They do have a P2P chat program built on-top of it so you can use that as an example and I think someone did their thesis on building a "facebook for GNUnet" on an older version. Not sure if that code is public though (it most likely is, I just don't know where).
1. Running a node could easily be made illegal in most jurisdictions (abiding criminals), which is problematic for multiple reasons (there is distinction between helping the market operate and merely browsing it).
2. A big enough bug is enough to get everyone involved in trouble, and even if it is easy to fix the flaw everyone's identity up until that moment would be compromised (bitcoin for example has had many problems, which were later fixed, except that the stakes weren't as high)
3. During disputes, the arbiter can side with whoever offers them the biggest fee.
Then he would be left a negative review. Arbiters will be chosen based on fairness.
Basically, you're going to have to trust yourself to see which arbitrators are scammers, based on reviews, some amount of which are likely to be fake. This doesn't really help the whole situation of avoiding scammers, just moves it around slightly.
Imagine having, say, three arbiters for each transaction, and two of the three have to side with one side in order for the money to be moved. This cuts down a lot on the potential problems, especially if the arbiters were kept anonymous from one another, thus preventing collusion and making sure that each investigation is independent from the others.
Disregarding the obvious familial trust, I trust the manufacturers of the food I buy not to poison it. I trust that the gas pump is actually pumping gas. I trusted the bank teller to deposit the cash I gave her into my bank account and not just put it in her pocket (a trust her bank shared as well.) I trust my employers to pay me and my employers trust me not to steal their IP.
Of course, in each of these cases, there exists a system to enforce regulations and punish infractions when trust is broken, because while trust has to work in many social and business transactions, people cannot always be trusted not to cheat, lie and game the system. And yes, this means one still has to trust that system to an unavoidable degree.
Police could set up a ring of their own accounts, facilitate fake transactions amongst each other, leave positive reviews, take down one large player, then shut that ring down. Imagine hundreds of these rings within the network.
If they're also relying on WoT-like reputation system where peers rate peers, and reputation's calculated from those chains of trust, massive sockpuppet attackers won't be able to quickly erode trust, as they'd generate that trust only throughout their own circle, having minor impact on others. They'll have to play by the rules for a long time to spread connections through the network.
Yes, but the real question is how easily can trust be manufactured?
Details here: http://jackgavigan.com/?attachment_id=796
Well, the broker's a middleman. He's going to add some commission to the price. A decentralised system allows you the option of trading directly with the other end of the deal and bypassing the middlemen that normally make money by connecting the two endpoint counterparties of a trade.
> Or something like Nadex, where you trade directly on the exchange and each trade between you and a market maker is essentially in escrow until the outcome is realized?
What if you don't want to use Nadex? What if you could get a better price trading directly with someone else instead? What if you want to trade something that Nadex doesn't support?
I think the way trading has been trending technologically, we will get there eventually.
1. How is this distributed? For example, torrents require a tracker. What does 'zeromq' do that enables them to not have any centralized server at all. Where is the client list?
2. Does every user need to download the whole marketplace, including all resources like images? Downloading a bitcoin wallet takes forever, wouldn't this be much worse? Similar to keeping the whole internet in a single file?
No, It's HTTP like the web, except when you ask for DarkVendor555's info it loads it over this distributed network instead of from a central server.
Not if you use the DHT.
Tell people what they want to hear. People want to hear that they can trade illegally with zero risk of being caught: so tell them that. No need to sully people's minds with tedious details like the risk of design flaws, the risk of implementation flaws, dealers giving you up in a plea deal, undercover agents ... etc etc etc.
The most important lesson of security is that it is about probabilities, not certainties. You can only ever secure yourself against attackers with a given level of motivation and resources. When you brag about your security, you create a more motivated attacker. And the FBI is pretty well-resourced, as attackers go.
I partially agree with you even though I want to see the state destroyed. Goading them to attack will likely result in consequences for some of the people using the tool, but it's also a way to put active hostile pressure on the attack surfaces as well to quickly show any security flaws.