Bitcoin & Cyber Crime: Deep Web, Crime-as-a-Service and Normalizing in the Internet Age

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Avatar for Richard-M-Adrian
2 years ago

Activities of the deep web are raising security concerns across the world. And as the world adjusts to glance, a new generation arises fueled by the economics of virality. 

Identity theft is the leading consumer complaint in the United States. This is according to a deep web research done by the US Federal Trade Commision.

Look around and you will notice people who have fallen victim of cyber crime.  Which today has been said to pose the same security concerns as terrorism.  These cyber crimes could be anything from credit card fraud, data destruction, data hacking, extortion or cell phone hacking. 

Napster and How Music Piracy Came to Be

The huge mistake of this era is most online crimes have sublimed so much into normalcy that people have stopped regarded them as immoral.  Take for example the music recording industry back in the 2000s.  Governments sued more than 18,000 consumers for illicit sharing of music. Napstar, a music download site had just pioneered the era of piracy ; which had almost crippled the music industry.  

Napster ushered an era of millions of people downloading music without paying.  Due to the massive number of people taking part in these site’s programs, music piracy strolled into normalcy. Even today, years after services like Napstar had their fair share of legal battles with recording artists and producers; hundreds of millions of music consumers still shy away from legal-licencing music streaming sites such as Spotify and iTunes.  

Unfortunately, Napster and other like minded services went on to inspire a generation of content piracy.  The recording industry was already struggling to remain afloat. Digital technologies and peer to peer file sharing services had already resulted in a 45 percent drop in music records sales. Over 30 billion music files were downloaded illegally on such file sharing platforms.  

According to Forbes Contributer Hugh Mcintyre, “such services compounded to financial losses, failed business, undiscovered and struggling music talent, lost jobs , uncollected taxes and failing business models”. 

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Services and Their Effect on Hollywood

The effect didnt take long before knocking the doors of Hollywood. For the past eight years for example, ninety-five percent of oscar nominated films have leaked online.  These movies are leaked by “release groups” and streamed through peer-to-peer services. 

In 2010, a Game of Thrones episode scored the internet by becoming the world’s most pirated film. The episode was shared approximately 1.5 million times.

Today, the difficulty to criminilize piracy sites can be retold in hundreds of cyber criminals that have become social norms.  Thirst by milleneal economists to  fuel the concept of free markets has raised a breed of business misfits and financial liberals. 

Presently,  you can  engage online,  shop stuff and make payments anonymously. And perhaps  this propensity to remain anonymous has fueled most cyber crimes. 

The issue with the current generation is its ability to normalize such behaviors and deviate from ethics.  In this age, it has become even easier to effectively create new norms online and make them go viral. 

For instance, consider downloading a movie from piracy stores just like shoplifting. Like stealing a DVD copy from a retail store shelf.  But then only a few people understand downloading such files is a crime. 

Some online crimes are however not able to thrive under the public eye. Most of which have even been shunned from social norms.  But the existence of the deep web has given cyber criminals a breeding ground away from public scrutiny. 

The Deep Web and the Silk Road Conspiracy

The deep web is home to a digital black market featuring terrorist networks, militia fundings, drug dealers, criminal gangs, contract assassins, human trafficking and sexual predators.  Such activities have been made possible by the deep web’s ability to anonymously host files, financial informating and encrypted tor-enabled instant messaging. On the deep web you will encounter “the gates of hell” into trades such as these: 

  1. Piracy links to all books, movies and content you could ever imagine. 

  2. International drug markets

  3. Prostitution rings and porn syndicates

  4. Black markets for weapons

  5. Assassins for Hire

But like most people, you’d wonder what makes it possible for such deviant crimes to thrive on the darknet. Are these criminals untouchable? Is there no possible way of monitoring and supervising the dark web? 

Well, the answer is the size of the dark web. Millions of anonymous addresses that are constantly changing domains.  You’d also imagine a hub where transactions are anonymous and initiated only through cryptocurrencies. (And not Bitcoin but privacy coins such as Zcash and Monero).  

Sometimes and to the advantage of law enforcement, these criminals make mistakes and fall into the arms of investigators.  One such case is the arrest of  Ross Ulbricht by the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was indicted on charges of computer hacking, money laundering, attempt to kill six people and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.  Ulbricht’s arrest and case hit the internet since intelligence believed he was behind the Silk Road Marketplace. A platform he operated under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts. 

Ulbricht built the Silk Road from ideals of the free market that he’d picked up from reading Ludwig Von Mises material (An Austrian economist). Within no time, the marketplace had grown into all kinds of illegal paraphernalia, including computer hacking services, weapon merchandise and drugs.

The effects of the internet are far fetching positive and negative. But in all manners do you agree with the normalizing of illegal online activities?

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Avatar for Richard-M-Adrian
2 years ago


I think there should be Cyber crime security team for making BCH transaction more safe and easier for users!

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