Can you buy illegal drugs online untraced?
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:59:25 GMT —
The drug trade business is dangerous. One can get shot, arrested and even killed while buying or dealing drugs, but one website has made a revolutionary change that stops all of that. The Silk Road is an underground shopping avenue for drug sellers and buyers alike. The site uses bitcoins " an online currency similar to the idea of poker chips. You buy into the bitcoins and then use them to purchase the drugs. Once purchased, they are shipped " untraced " to your residence. One user named Mark had a small manila envelope delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to his house. Inside were 10 tabs of LSD. The software developer ordered the acid through Silk Road. He looked for good feedback then purchased the drug. Four days later, they arrived from Canada, according to Wired News.The site raises several questions, including, how anonymous it really is. You can only reach the site by going through a network that scrambles your IP address. The TOR project aims at protecting anonymity online by masking a user TMs tracks on the site. The site then urges sellers to creatively disguise their shipments and vacuum seal any drug that could be detected through smell, according to Gawker. The money used to purchase the drugs is peer-to-peer currency, which has no central body monitoring the users. That concerns some bitcoin users who want the currency to remain legitimate. And scammers do use the site, but most who browse it recognize the legitimate users over scam listings.Finally, Silk Road seems to be an underground version of Craigslist or Amazon that uses an ebay style of reputation-based ratings, but users don TMt find items that can cause mass harm. The terms of service ban the sale of anything who TMs purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen credit cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass destruction."Our community is amazing," Silk Road's anonymous administrator, known on forums as "Silk Road," told the Wired News in an email. "They are generally bright, honest and fair people, very understanding, and willing to cooperate with each other."Is a website like this harmful to our citizens? Does it make drug sales/purchases more or less dangerous? Do you think it truly is an untraceable purchase? Can it put the postal service at risk? Sound off below.(Both Gawker and Wired News contributed to this report. KRCG has opted to not place the web address for this site in the story as we feel it is irresponsible and encourages illegal drug use.)