Silk Road's Downfall Killed the Dream of the Dark Net

Adrian Chen · 10/04/13 05:32PM

It's a dark time on the Dark Net. This Tuesday the FBI shuttered Silk Road, a drug market that operated for more than two years with impunity. The Silk Road helped popularize the Dark Net as the Mall of Anarcho-Capitalism, where illegal drugs, stolen credit cards, child porn and weapons are traded openly. But a series of high-profile busts has seriously undermined the premise of the Dark Net.

How a Social Media Guy Took an Underground Drug Market Viral

Adrian Chen · 09/27/13 03:02PM

These days, everyone has a social media guy. It's a crucial component of marketing for any modern business, no matter what's being sold: books, cars, food, journalism. Illegal drugs. Since the online illegal drug market Atlantis Marketplace launched six months ago, it's set itself apart with brazen marketing tactics. But it abruptly shut down this week. Now that he's got some free time on his hands, the freelance online marketing expert who was Atlantis' main PR guy was willing to talk to me about hustling drugs in the social media era.

The Attack on the Dark Net Took Down a Lot More Than Child Porn

Adrian Chen · 08/09/13 04:45PM

On Sunday afternoon, large swaths of the so-called "dark net"—the network of web sites accessible only to people using the anonymity-enabling Tor software—went even darker than normal. The widespread blackout appears to be the result of an FBI sting, targeted at the trade of kiddie porn on the Tor Network. One cybersecurity researcher was watching the entire time, and offered Gawker a peek into one of the biggest attacks on the dark net in history.

Dark Net Busted Wide Open After Child Porn Arrest

Adrian Chen · 08/05/13 02:46PM

The Tor Network is a vibrant shadow web used by people who want to hide their tracks online. But even this so-called "dark net" has vulnerabilities. This weekend, the dark net was rocked when its biggest hosting company was shut down, the alleged founder arrested on child porn charges, and the identities of many users who believed they were anonymous apparently harvested by authorities.

Vigilante Hackers Wage War on Underground Kiddie Porn

Adrian Chen · 10/21/11 03:01PM

Just below the surface of the internet sits a network of hidden websites home to some of the worst stuff imaginable. Now hackers are going after pedophiles hiding in the so-called dark net.