The battle over internet privacy and security continues to be waged in new interesting ways by entities on both side of the divide. This week Wired Magazine reported on a new DarkMarket Prototype that is designed to replicate the unregulated sort of marketplace that was once made famous by the illegal Silk Road website. The interesting twist that has free spirits excited as law and order groups become increasingly concerned is the inclusion of a new peer-to-peer fully distributed system architecture.
The Silk Road site made use of Bitcoin payments and Tor IP masking to hide identities, but once the alleged owner was located it became only a matter of time before the underlying data is available to law enforcement agencies. DarkMarket, which is a proof of concept ‘working prototype’ being given away as open source material for an anonymous developer to finish off uses a P2P platform and a built-in arbitration system along with Bitcoin wallet innovations to makes it impossible to determine who actually owns it, or to even claim it has a direct owner.
The software for DarkMarket would exist in pieces across all the computers of anyone who installs it whether they actually go to the site and make transactions or not, leaving open the door to things like viruses and Trojan installs that would leave the software resident on computes of people who aren’t even aware it is using their system resources.
In November of 2013 law enforcement officials filed an unrelated RICO claim against someone who bought fake ID online. The case again David Ray Camez argues that buying the IDs online made Mr. Camez a co-conspirator with others using the site for other illegal activities and therefore makes him liable for all of those other crimes. The potential result is decades of additional prison time for everything from drug sales to attempted murder being tacked on to a crime that would otherwise carry a much shorter prison sentence.
If these parallel agendas converge, the mess of serious legal action ensnaring both intentional and unwitting (virus infected) computer owners who have DarkMarket installs on their computers could be breathtaking. While one side continues to argue the right of privacy and makes strong claims that the NSA is overstepping its boundaries, the other side makes equally strong claims that these kinds of technological loopholes may lead to real world criminal activity on an unprecedented level with ‘consumer ready’ websites that turn committing real life hardcore crimes into a few clicks on a mobile app – leaving millions of honest people in the cross-fire whether they know it or not.
Now more than ever, keeping your computers and servers clean of nefarious software is an essential part of your protecting your identity and your business. At NationalNet we take these sorts of stories seriously and continue to work diligently to stamp out any possibility of unwarranted access by people with unsavory intentions. As always, if we can assist you with your data security, fully managed hosting or collocation needs please contact us at your earliest convenience.