During an interview with Fox News, Alex Hamerstone, an IT security consultant, explained the basics surrounding the darknet, Tor, and the reasons for the growing popularity of darknet markets.
Hamerstone also commented about how purchasing through the dark web is more convenient and easier than finding a street level drug dealer in person.
“It’s not that complicated to get on there but you have to be looking for it,” said Alex Hamerstone.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at the end of January 2018 that they would be creating a new team that will specifically target dark web users of the opioid epidemic. Their mission will be implementing a Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team that will monitor the darknet for drug related activity, specifically opioids.
“They’re in for a rude awakening,” Said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in regards to the administrators of darknet marketplaces and their vendors.
Sessions first announced the Abuse Detection Unit and Opioid Fraud, which would us analytics and data harvested to move in on doctors that were over-prescribing opioid medication such as pain killers.
The darknet is a new focus for the FBI. Prior to Sessions’ announcement of the new darknet task-force, Johnson acknowledged the FBI has already been on the darknet, investigating buyers and dealers.
“We’re finding out who’s buying this stuff and we’re trying to identify them throughout the nation, and actually incarcerate them,” Johnson said.
The FBI has also been investigating a wide range of activities from terrorism to gang activity, former FBI Investigator William
In July 2017, Sessions announced the biggest dark net marketplace seizure in history. The site Alpha Bay contained more than 200,000 drug listings, Sessions said in his announcement. Sessions specified it was responsible for “countless” synthetic opioid overdoses.
Sessions said the allocation of resources toward dark web opioid trafficking investigations comes at a time when drug sales have become more common online. “With a few clicks of a button, you can go online and have them shipped right to your door.”
Alex Hamerstone, who works in a private firm that hacks companies to test their security, says this shift is no surprise. “Just like the rest of the world is moving more towards online purchasing, so is a lot of illegal activity.”
“After that, it will take a certain amount of monitoring—ongoing monitoring—both on the internet as well as through a network of informants and other law enforcement techniques to be able to make sure that we keep this level of selling of illegal drugs down,” Daly said.