Senators target Internet narcotics

Jun 05, 2011 By MICHAEL GORMLEY , Associated Press

(AP) -- Two U.S. senators said Sunday they will ask federal authorities to crack down on a secretive narcotics market operated on the Internet with anonymous sales and untraceable currency.

Heroin, and methamphetamines are among the drugs being sold in the well-protected website apparently operating for just a few months.

Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both Democrats, said they asked the Justice Department and Enforcement Administration to shut down and investigate the website, often referred to as the Silk Road after an ancient Asian trade route.

"This audacious website should be shut down immediately," Manchin said.

"Never before has a website so brazenly peddled illegal drugs online," Schumer said. "By cracking down on the website immediately, we can help stop these drugs from flooding our streets."

The senators planned to release their letters to the agencies on Sunday.

A key to the illicit trade is use of a network by buyers and sellers that conceals their identity.

Websites including Gawker have reported on the site.

Schumer said the website began operating in February and uses "layers" of secrecy to thwart authorities. Sellers are told to make shipments in vacuum-sealed bags to avoid drug-detecting dogs.

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User comments : 15

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Newbeak
5 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2011
"By cracking down on the website immediately, we can help stop these drugs from flooding our streets."
As if they aren't flooding the streets already.We have to keep up our War on Drugs-trafficker's income depends on it.
aroc91
2 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2011
They're trying to take down the Silk Road? Good luck with that.
TehDog
3 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2011
They're trying to take down the Silk Road? Good luck with that.

Indeed, TOR'd to the gills, and a possibly untraceble payment system.
NickFun
not rated yet Jun 05, 2011
How could a payment system be 'untraceable'? Surely there are banks involved, wire transfers etc. Personally, I hope they don't get caught!
Newbeak
not rated yet Jun 05, 2011
How could a payment system be 'untraceable'? Surely there are banks involved, wire transfers etc. Personally, I hope they don't get caught!

No doubt the NSA would have the will and the means to do it.
Etreum
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2011
Legalize drugs to destroy all these cartels. Remember the prohibition era?
Regards.
aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2011
How could a payment system be 'untraceable'? Surely there are banks involved, wire transfers etc. Personally, I hope they don't get caught!


It uses the Bitcoin system. It's a completely anonymous, digital currency. It has no ties to banks or real-world money.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2011
NYC and West VA- this site must be taking business away from crack peddlers and moonshiners. The mob made a few phone calls and...
Newbeak
5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2011
Legalize drugs to destroy all these cartels. Remember the prohibition era?
Regards.

Sadly,governments as a whole don't think that rationally.They will do what it takes to get themselves re-elected,and I don't think the public is in the mood for radical change in drug policy-they want their elected officials to be tough on crime and build more prisons,even if it bankrupts the country.
Baseline
5 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2011
Indeed because a privatized penal system that operates for profit is a capital idea....

If there was any hope the current leadership of this country has any progressive ideas to solve the fiscal crisis we are in it was dispelled after The Global Commission on Drug Policy released their report and it was unceremoniously dismissed as misguided.

Why bother using public funds to commission reports and form committees if the recommendations are just going to be dismissed out of hand?
jjoensuu
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2011
@aroc91
It uses the Bitcoin system. It's a completely anonymous, digital currency. It has no ties to banks or real-world money.


If it has no ties to real-world money, how would they monetize their income? They might as well be trading in simoleons (the currency in Sims 3 etc) in that case.
jjoensuu
2 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2011
Legalize drugs to destroy all these cartels. Remember the prohibition era?
Regards.

Sadly,governments as a whole don't think that rationally.

It would also not reduce the usage of drugs or what-ever-service-that-now-would-be-legalized. A risk of increased usage would perhaps be okay if the users also would not try to use 'community resources' such as hospitals to get services when they get ill from the substances.
Newbeak
5 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2011
Legalize drugs to destroy all these cartels. Remember the prohibition era?
Regards.

Sadly,governments as a whole don't think that rationally.

It would also not reduce the usage of drugs or what-ever-service-that-now-would-be-legalized. A risk of increased usage would perhaps be okay if the users also would not try to use 'community resources' such as hospitals to get services when they get ill from the substances.

Yes,usage would probably stay at the historic 10% of the population.However,desparate addicts would not be mugging you or breaking into your home to raise money for their next fix.Money (billions) would be freed up to treat them if they wanted it.Drug gangs would suddenly be out of business.I could go on,but you see where I am heading..
tarheelchief
not rated yet Jun 06, 2011
The power of the IRS remains quite formidable.
It might help if the banks accepting deposits or issuing checks came under the investigators in the Federal Reserve.
It is also possible the many hedge funds could be forced to register their clients
aroc91
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2011
@aroc91
It uses the Bitcoin system. It's a completely anonymous, digital currency. It has no ties to banks or real-world money.


If it has no ties to real-world money, how would they monetize their income? They might as well be trading in simoleons (the currency in Sims 3 etc) in that case.


Essentially, that's what it is. Bitcoins are produced by "mining" for them, running calculation with your CPU or GPU. They can be exchanged for real-world money, but it's not backed by anything. The bitcoin market could be operated independently without the opportunity to exchange.

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