Monday 6 February 2012

Online commerce: the dark alternative…

The Internet has a secret black market facilitated by a global network of computer users who believe the internet should operate beyond the supervision of law enforcement agencies.
It allows users and those who sell drugs, guns and fake passports to remain anonymous. Users often do not know the real identity of those they are dealing with, and it is very difficult - although not impossible - for authorities to track them
Users purchase via Bitcoins - an electronic currency which is used legitimately by online gamers, and the availability of multiple dealers allows product-comparison. Customers can also review the dealer's product.
Getting access to the dark web depends on users downloading freely available software, based on peer-to-peer file-sharing technology, which effectively scrambles the location of users and dark web websites.
One positive application might be the use of similar technology to preserve the anonymity of mainstream online shoppers who may resent their shopping behaviour being data-based, however well-intentioned the retailer… 
Hear the full story by downloading the BBC 5 live Investigates podcast 

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