Recently many websites have reported that the FBI and Operation Onymous (clever name) have seized over 400 Darknet Sites.
These sites clearly have no conception how the Deep Web operates, because the FBI definitely did not seize this many sites, and they have most certainly not put a dent in the online trafficking of illicit substances and items.
On November 7, the BBC reported that "Silk Road 2.0 and 400+ other sites believed to be selling illegal items including drugs and weapons have been shut down.". Other websites reported similar findings. Although the FBI did seize the Silkroad and other online marketplaces, they did not seize over 400 of them.
These news networks, and maybe even the FBI, fail to realize that just because they have 400+ "hidden services" does not mean that they have the sites themselves (this would be a rather serious blunder on the FBI's part, which may mean it was calculated rather than actually believed). Rather, they seized their URLS. Many, if not most of these URLS point to the same site. So, the FBI seized many of the same sites, many times over, yet they are able to tell the media that they seized 400+ sites, creating a false representation of how much the FBI had actually done.
Even if the FBI had seized 400 actual online marketplaces, so many more marketplaces exist, and would fill the demand opened by the seized sites, that this game the FBI plays is futile. It is part of the ongoing war against drugs, an already un-winnable venture. Silk Road 3.0 was created on the deepweb only 8 hours after the seizure of Silkroad 2.0. At this point, the Silk Road trademark has become a joke pointing to the insanity of the "War against TOR's illicit trade".
So the FBI seized 1 Million in Bitcoin and 180 thousand in cash and drugs in total. The Silkroad alone, however, had 30 million dollars in bitcoin flowing through it per year, in 2013. That's approximately 2.5 million a month. Not to mention, the Silkroad was not even the most popular marketplace any more, giving way to invite-only markets like Agora. In comparison, then, 1 million is little to what these marketplaces make collectively.
The confirmed number of sites is 27, 7% of the 400 the FBI claimed to have seized.
Among the seized sites are:
Pablo Escobar Drugstore
Silk Road 2.0
Tor BazaarCloud Nine
Fake Real Plastic
Pay Pal Center
Real Cards Team TISI +0.52%
The Green Machine
Sol’s Unified USD Counterfeit’s
Super Note Counter
The Hidden Market
Do you think the war on illicit online trade will ever be put to a stop? Leave a comment and let me know.
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