The Internet is turning into a drug store, as its role in drugs trafficking on a global scale is constantly rising with concerning rates. New psychoactive substances and "entrenched" drugs are being massively sold electronically, according to a relevant report of the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction).
More particularly, in the decade, the use of conventional websites for psychoactive drugs selling has increased to 650. And as if this is not enough, the most concerning course of events in that electronic market, is the sale of illegal drugs in e-shops established at the unseen side of the Internet, the known as “deep web”, or “dark web” which is accessible only with the help of a cryptography software.
Those pages allow full anonymity to the product and/or service exchanges as well as the trade parties, who most often use crypto-coins (such as Bitcoins) to make the transaction easier.
Also, a new phenomenon is the internet black market, where there are mostly e-shops that work to the bright side of the internet as well.
An example of the unseen market is the Silk Road, a black supermarket of drugs which the FBI took down from the web in October 2013 and which had managed to sell products worth 1 billion dollars to almost 1 million clients.
Very soon after it was taken down and while the Silks Road’s owner, 31yearold Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to lifetime, there was the Silk Road 2.0 with 150,000 users that made exchanges worth of 96 million dollars in only 12 months.
According to Global Drug Survey, during a study that was conducted to 100,000 people from all around the world, 11,750 answered that they had bought drugs online through conventional websites and through the deep web as well. A quarter of them also mentioned that the first time they did that was in 2014 a year that most people chose. In the United States, one out of seven buys drugs exclusively on the internet, while most internet buyers are located in Sweden, Poland, Norway, Denmark and Big Britain.
The most popular drug in the dark web is ecstasy, with 64% of the buyers stating that they have bought it either as a dust or in the form of pills. LSD is also particularly popular, which can be explained by the fact that it is a known substance which is hard to find to the so far known streets of the drugs market.
The reasons that users turn to the internet, according to the specialists, is because the drugs are much cheaper there. For instance, the same amount (1g) of ecstasy, costs 450 dollars in the Australian market and only 80 dollars online! One more reason is that the internet market is much safer, since all transactions are taking place under strict and unbreakable anonymity something that most people (or dealers) prefer from getting into street fights with other dealers thus increasing by a lot the chances to be caught.