How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream | Jamie Bartlett

If you want to buy high-quality,
low-price cocaine, there really is only one place to go, and that is the dark net
anonymous markets. Now, you can’t get to these sites with a normal browser —
Chrome or Firefox — because they’re on this
hidden part of the Internet, known as Tor hidden services, where URLs are a string of meaningless
numbers and letters that end in .onion, and which you access
with a special browser called the Tor browser. Now, the Tor browser was originally
a U.S. Naval intelligence project. It then became open source, and it allows anybody to browse the net without giving away their location. And it does this
by encrypting your IP address and then routing it via several
other computers around the world that use the same software. You can use it on the normal Internet, but it’s also your key to the dark net. And because of this fiendishly
clever encryption system, the 20 or 30 — we don’t know exactly —
thousand sites that operate there are incredibly difficult to shut down. It is a censorship-free world
visited by anonymous users. Little wonder, then,
that it’s a natural place to go for anybody with something to hide, and that something, of course,
need not be illegal. On the dark net, you will find whistle-blower sites, The New Yorker. You will find political activism blogs. You will find libraries of pirated books. But you’ll also find the drugs markets, illegal pornography,
commercial hacking services, and much more besides. Now, the dark net is one of the most
interesting, exciting places anywhere on the net. And the reason is, because
although innovation, of course, takes place in big businesses, takes place in world-class universities, it also takes place in the fringes, because those on the fringes —
the pariahs, the outcasts — they’re often the most creative,
because they have to be. In this part of the Internet, you will not find a single lolcat, a single pop-up advert anywhere. And that’s one of the reasons why I think many of you here will be
on the dark net fairly soon. (Laughter) Not that I’m suggesting
anyone in this audience would use it to go and procure high-quality narcotics. But let’s say for a moment that you were. (Laughter) Bear with me. The first thing you will notice
on signing up to one of these sites is how familiar it looks. Every single product — thousands of products — has a glossy, high-res image, a detailed product description, a price. There’s a “Proceed to checkout” icon. There is even, most beautifully of all, a “Report this item” button. (Laughter) Incredible. You browse through the site,
you make your choice, you pay with the crypto-currency bitcoin, you enter an address —
preferably not your home address — and you wait for your product
to arrive in the post, which it nearly always does. And the reason it does
is not because of the clever encryption. That’s important. Something far simpler than that. It’s the user reviews. (Laughter) You see, every single vendor
on these sites uses a pseudonym, naturally enough, but they keep the same pseudonym
to build up a reputation. And because it’s easy for the buyer
to change allegiance whenever they want, the only way of trusting a vendor is if they have a good history
of positive feedback from other users of the site. And this introduction
of competition and choice does exactly what
the economists would predict. Prices tend to go down,
product quality tends to go up, and the vendors are attentive, they’re polite, they’re consumer-centric, offering you all manner
of special deals, one-offs, buy-one-get-one-frees, free delivery, to keep you happy. I spoke to Drugsheaven. Drugsheaven was offering
excellent and consistent marijuana at a reasonable price. He had a very generous refund policy, detailed T’s and C’s, and good shipping times. “Dear Drugsheaven,” I wrote, via the internal emailing system
that’s also encrypted, of course. “I’m new here. Do you mind
if I buy just one gram of marijuana?” A couple of hours later, I get a reply. They always reply. “Hi there, thanks for your email. Starting small is a wise thing to do.
I would, too, if I were you.” (Laughter) “So no problem if you’d like to start
with just one gram. I do hope we can do business together. Best wishes, Drugsheaven.” (Laughter) I don’t know why he had a posh
English accent, but I assume he did. Now, this kind
of consumer-centric attitude is the reason why, when I reviewed
120,000 pieces of feedback that had been left on one of these sites
over a three-month period, 95 percent of them were five out of five. The customer, you see, is king. But what does that mean? Well, on the one hand, that means there are more drugs,
more available, more easily, to more people. And by my reckoning,
that is not a good thing. But, on the other hand,
if you are going to take drugs, you have a reasonably good way of guaranteeing a certain level
of purity and quality, which is incredibly important
if you’re taking drugs. And you can do so
from the comfort of your own home, without the risks associated
with buying on the streets. Now, as I said, you’ve got to be creative and innovative
to survive in this marketplace. And the 20 or so sites
that are currently in operation — by the way, they don’t always work,
they’re not always perfect; the site that I showed you
was shut down 18 months ago, but not before it had turned
over a billion dollars’ worth of trade. But these markets, because of the difficult conditions
in which they are operating, the inhospitable conditions, are always innovating, always
thinking of ways of getting smarter, more decentralized, harder to censor, and more customer-friendly. Let’s take the payment system. You don’t pay with your credit card, of course — that would lead
directly back to you. So you use the crypto-currency bitcoin, which is easily exchanged
for real-world currencies and gives quite a high degree
of anonymity to its users. But at the beginning of these sites,
people noticed a flaw. Some of the unscrupulous dealers
were running away with peoples’ bitcoin before they’d mailed the drugs out. The community came up with a solution,
called multi-signature escrow payments. So on purchasing my item, I would send my bitcoin to a neutral, secure third digital wallet. The vendor, who would see
that I’d sent it, would be confident that they
could then send the product to me, and then when I received it, at least two of the three people
engaged in the transaction — vendor, buyer, site administrator — would have to sign the transaction off with a unique digital signature, and then the money would be transferred. Brilliant! Elegant. It works. But then they realized there was
a problem with bitcoin, because every bitcoin transaction is actually recorded publicly
in a public ledger. So if you’re clever, you can try
and work out who’s behind them. So they came up with a tumbling service. Hundreds of people send
their bitcoin into one address, they’re tumbled and jumbled up, and then the right amount
is sent on to the right recipients, but they’re different bitcoins: micro-laundering systems. (Laughter) It’s incredible. Interested in what drugs are trending
right now on the dark net markets? Check Grams, the search engine. You can even buy some advertising space. (Laughter) Are you an ethical consumer worried
about what the drugs industry is doing? Yeah. One vendor will offer you
fair trade organic cocaine. (Laughter) That’s not being sourced
from Colombian druglords, but Guatemalan farmers. They even promised to reinvest
20 percent of any profits into local education programs. (Laughter) There’s even a mystery shopper. Now, whatever you think
about the morality of these sites — and I submit that it’s not
actually an easy question — the creation of functioning,
competitive, anonymous markets, where nobody knows who anybody else is, constantly at risk of being shut down
by the authorities, is a staggering achievement, a phenomenal achievement. And it’s that kind of innovation that’s why those on the fringes are often the harbingers
of what is to come. It’s easy to forget that because of its short life, the Internet has actually
changed many times over the last 30 years or so. It started in the ’70s
as a military project, morphed in the 1980s
to an academic network, co-opted by commercial
companies in the ’90s, and then invaded by all of us
via social media in the noughties, but I think it’s going to change again. And I think things
like the dark net markets — creative, secure, difficult to censor — I think that’s the future. And the reason it’s the future is because we’re all worried
about our privacy. Surveys consistently show
concerns about privacy. The more time we spend online,
the more we worry about them, and those surveys show
our worries are growing. We’re worried about
what happens to our data. We’re worried about
who might be watching us. Since the revelations from Edward Snowden, there’s been a huge increase
in the number of people using various privacy-enhancing tools. There are now between two
and three million daily users of the Tor browser, the majority of which use
is perfectly legitimate, sometimes even mundane. And there are hundreds of activists
around the world working on techniques and tools
to keep you private online — default encrypted messaging services. Ethereum, which is a project
which tries to link up the connected but unused hard drives
of millions of computers around the world, to create a sort of distributed Internet
that no one really controls. Now, we’ve had distributed
computing before, of course. We use it for everything from Skype
to the search for extraterrestrial life. But you add distributed computing
and powerful encryption — that’s very, very hard
to censor and control. Another called MaidSafe
works on similar principles. Another called Twister,
and so on and so on. And here’s the thing — the more of us join, the more interesting those sites become, and then the more of us join, and so on. And I think that’s what’s going to happen. In fact, it’s already happening. The dark net is no longer
a den for dealers and a hideout for whistle-blowers. It’s already going mainstream. Just recently, the musician Aphex Twin
released his album as a dark net site. Facebook has started a dark net site. A group of London architects
have opened a dark net site for people worried
about regeneration projects. Yes, the dark net is going mainstream, and I predict that fairly soon,
every social media company, every major news outlet, and therefore most of you
in this audience, will be using the dark net, too. So the Internet is about to get
more interesting, more exciting, more innovative, more terrible, more destructive. That’s good news
if you care about liberty. It’s good news if you care about freedom. It’s good news if you care
about democracy. It’s also good news if you want to browse
for illegal pornography and if you want to buy and sell drugs with impunity. Neither entirely dark, nor entirely light. It’s not one side or the other
that’s going to win out, but both. Thank you very much, indeed. (Applause)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

100 thoughts on “How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream | Jamie Bartlett

  1. From now on, I will only buy organic, free trade cocaine. I suspect this will be a fantastic virtuous interjection into conversations.
    ''Well Susan, I only buy organic, fair-trade cocaine from the finest Guatamalan farmers, and 20% of the proceeds go to the local school. How many schools have you funded with your reusable bag Susan? Zero, that's how many''.

  2. Frightening due to the fact that the sophistication and technology would be capable of anything from legal to illegal Hit men or angels Is this freedom where there are no laws etc. ?

  3. Does the dark net help you with your business , you know getting started and loans marketing haha asking for a friend

  4. This guy has clearly no idea how many sites there are are on the Dark Web. "Approximately 20,000 sites" – I think not chief.

  5. Tor is compromised by observing the timing of packets going into and out of servers. Changing the protocol to randomly delay packets on servers could make this more difficult, but it would make for a lousy interactive experience.

  6. People are so hypocritical. Cocaine is illegal yet, alcohol which made the most victims of all the (hard) drugs so far, is legal…

  7. i saw the bitcoin prices and then i was shocked since 20000$ for a gram ..until i saw when this was posted.

  8. I LOVE The metric system. It makes drugs easier to weigh. And it helps with math. So yeah I don’t have a problem.

  9. If you think the NSA hasn't taken TOR over think again. They watch as easily as you turning on your television. Go to the CIA website and click on the red report link, you'll be directed to download TOR.

  10. it sounds to me like you get better and more professional customer service from these drug dealers than you get from walmart etc.

  11. as someone who frequently hypothetically purchases drugs off of the dark net, this ted talk is fuckin great. i've yet to see such an in depth explanation about vendors, things like tumbling btc and grams (may it rest in peace), the background behind TOR and actually explaining what other uses TOR has/had other than just illegal trades. the processes behind dark net trade and the intricacies of the dark net in general were somethin explained very well here i think. bravo

  12. Very interesting… No interest in going there but was curious about where the HRC and Huma video was supposedly exposed.

  13. i'm a new subscribr. we are married LGBT couple and we are both registered both U.S nurses. please add us and view our vlogs.

  14. Ja drugs drugs drugs omg more drugs dude enough Im already usin cigaratte and so I live in turkey I dont wanna lock in a cell.

  15. Doesn't Paypal kinda work the same way as the darknet middle man. If you buy using paypal and don't get what you want they stop payment. So do credit cards. So not so sure how that's so revolutionary. Plus the government can track darknet just as easy as internet and good hackers can do their thing.

    Once darknet is totally mainstream, the government will go after illegal activity there just as they have on internet.

  16. This is the last thing anyone one the silk road wanted to happen. Thats why the underground, hard to access markets are the only ones that work.

  17. The " drug dealers" are the C.I.A. & the globalist bankers using the $ to finance their satanic New World Order agenda.

  18. there is NOOOTHING legist on the dark web Activists do not require the dark web to operate there are many countries who do not block free traffic to sites beyond regulation. The dark web is nothing but criminal. And I for one will stop it. and will create a youtube channel to prove this. and bust criminals as a P.I. Down with the dark web's drug selling, child raping and fraud!

  19. you send it 0.09827 bitcoin to a tumbler. output is 0.09827 bitcoin GEE I wonder WHO HAS THE SAME QUANTITY? EVEN AFTER TUMBLING…

  20. you have whatever you want on the normal net, why the heck is this idiot highlighting the dark web, will open all sorts of dark alleyways and corrupt people ..eventually. What an idiot

  21. His Hair is saying It's like a midwestern Mom that liked the Girl that dates Black Guys Hair that works at Claire's. Very late 90's Pixie Haircut meets I want to speak to the Manager hair! (See Photo LOL)

  22. I see this as an upgrade to Gumtree 👏 I gotta get me coupon for this #GoodTime also like how your taken the piss out of a drug dealer from behind a keyboard 😂 I can bet you would not do that face to face, as you would not have a face left 😂 still cool video 👏✌

  23. First thing this wound up coked out looking dude says… "The only way to buy cocaine is on the dark web"… LMAO… whens the last time he washed his hair lol.. looks like hes been up for days.

  24. 10.000 btc , the biggest account. A SR account according a Bitcointalk member.
    2nd 3rd 4th biggest accounts could be traced to Stockton too via the blockchain.
    Those 4 accounts had 20.000 btc . Then I went to the site of the DEA who offered 1 million dollar if convicted..
    Then I found a hidden wifi , comming from next door. With a crackingtool I saw I was monitored with a keylogger.
    The neighbor to rang my doorbellen to point his finger in my face to say not to say that he worked for the government. He worked for Amnesty international. That is a ngo.
    Now I had nodoubt, he was from the secret service for sue.

    Now I am full hightech with chips and cam in my eye.
    Ready to stëel again 20.000 btc .from this usefull idiot.
    A walking talking half robot who must obay the voice to skull voice or else. I am in pain.
    You are next!

  25. Listen to this Social Engineer and you will go far.

  26. Yeah very interesting but how are you going to hide yourself from that anomaly that is occurring in the AI singularity. If you know that there is nothing secret that will not be made known as God is in your head maybe he should be your dread. After all it is a fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom.. if you know the creative Power and Light Within you you will begin to destroy the works of darkness casting down every thought and Imagination and opposes a knowledge there of of the great power of he, the I am!

  27. The darknet was intended toward liberty and privacy from government and corporate controls moreso than illegal stuffs. The presence of Facebook and the like is a warning sign, not an opportunity.

  28. Great explanation of the free market principles that exist on DNM. Unfortunately, you fail to take into account the vendors who build quality feedback in bulk (usually small purchases) to gain consumer trust with the sole intent of getting larger sales to pull exit scams on. Also, an escrow system is only as trustworthy as those who hold said escrow. There is a reason why it's best practice to never keep crypto in a marketplace wallet. Vendors are not the only ones who plan and execute exit scams, taking with them all the users crypto contained in the market wallets.

    Lastly, Markets are an absurdly low % of the total of sites that live on Darknet.

    Just my 0.00002BTC

  29. NOW I understand why, in some American cities, a hair stylist must have a license. This speaker had his hair done by someone who was not qualified…shoot the person who did his hair! Did he WANT to have the same hair style as his granny?!

  30. I've been all over this country nobody really buy drugs in the internet that's crazy, people rather get it from the guy down the block

  31. What happened to this guy's hair looks like it exploded I shouldn't have say s*** because I'm bald but I'm saying here in New York City wondering

  32. To All You Saying He Looks Like He Uses It. He Does Not Look It He Does It. He Tells In Perfect Detail How To Do It. How Would You Know How To Do It Unless You Have Done It?

  33. It's amazing how all these people or maybe even half of them fell for one moment for any of this nitwit nonsense anything that the government creates the government controls if they were smart enough to apprehend the operator of the Silk Road believe me the government does not hire stupid people they know what they're doing they have Harvard Yale and Princeton graduates of computer science and they know every transaction they've already busted the Bitcoin situation you're just setting yourself up for trouble if you do anything illegal online whether it's by using an encrypted software or whatever, you can bet the government's right up on it so don't think you're getting by with anything. Chances are the speaker that's on stage right now giving this lecture is probably already in prison and if not so his phone's a wiretapped, his computer is already been hacked into, and everything he does is being watched, to make a video like that is very foolish , it drew a lot of attention to him that otherwise never would have been towards him possibly, but please don't believe that you can go online and do anything illegal , there are professional cyber cops that all their job is day and night as they change shifts is to search the world wide web and look for certain words that people are using and their emails or whatever believe me everything's being watched and they know how to trace it back to its IP address and everything so please save yourself the trouble of going to prison don't believe anything this guy's telling you , that person that did the Silk Road thing may have got away with it for a short. time but even he was caught so please don't set yourself up for trouble by Falling for any of this nonsense because that's just what it is it's nonsense and it's foolish to venture anything that jeopardizes your freedom whether it's online or offline so get real, be smart, watch your words, your actions, because you are all being watched.

  34. I appreciate the scientific beauty through the lens of economy through a simulation we created over time, but I do not agree with the negatives to our moral code of ethics the "Tor" engines have to offer; sad and terrifying things happen by putting it moderately "Bad things could happen as easily as good things may occur."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *