Tuesday June 18, 2019
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The New Huge Market For Weapon Traders: Dark Web

Instead of exotic or rare firearms, the researchers saw handguns - the kinds of weapons someone in the US could buy from stores or vendors with a license.

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The sellers preferred the use of bitcoin for payment. Pixabay

As the debate over gun regulations rages globally, researchers now report that the Dark Web has become a big market for weapons trade.

Sixty-four per cent of the products advertised were handguns, 17 per cent semi-automatic long guns and fully automatic long guns 4 per cent, said the team from Michigan State University which crept into Tor, a Dark Web browser, to investigate how firearms are anonymously bought and sold around the world.

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“The sellers were very clear about how the transaction would go, which underscored the need for consistent secrecy. Some profile names indicated that they operated out of Europe, but there’s little else to tell about who these people are,” Holt informed. Pixabay

“We know so little about the distribution of firearms sold on the Dark Web that it’s kind of a black hole, similar to illicit pharmaceuticals and narcotics. We know people buy them online, but we don’t know to what extent,” said Thomas Holt, Professor of criminal justice and co-author of the research.

The research, published in the journal Deviant Behavior, revealed key insights on a trade that undercuts gun laws in the US as well as other countries around the world where regulations are tighter.

“What I found most surprising was that most of what we saw wasn’t rifles of military-grade weapons,” Holt said.

Instead of exotic or rare firearms, the researchers saw handguns – the kinds of weapons someone in the US could buy from stores or vendors with a license.

Holt and partners dug into shops, or single-owner websites hosted on Tor, using a web scraping tool to track vendors anonymously selling firearms, as well as to identity patterns of their operations.

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The research, published in the journal Deviant Behavior, revealed key insights on a trade that undercuts gun laws in the US as well as other countries around the world where regulations are tighter. Pixabay

The sellers preferred the use of bitcoin for payment.

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“The sellers were very clear about how the transaction would go, which underscored the need for consistent secrecy. Some profile names indicated that they operated out of Europe, but there’s little else to tell about who these people are,” Holt informed.

While the Dark Web masks a user’s identity, location and any traces of persona, the findings revealed the need for further investigations, and potential growth and impact. (IANS)

Next Story

Anti-Crypto Law Draft Proposes 10-Year Jail for Dealing in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies

Besides making it completely illegal, the bill makes holding of cryptos a non-bailable offence

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Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Pixabay

Holding, selling or dealing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could soon land you in jail for 10 years.

The “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” draft has proposed 10-year prison sentence for persons who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies.

Besides making it completely illegal, the bill makes holding of cryptos a non-bailable offence.

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and is generally based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world.

Draft, Law, Jail, Bitcoin
) Holding, selling or dealing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could soon land you in jail for 10 years. Pixabay

Given the high chances of cryptocurrencies being misused for money laundering, various government bodies such as the Income Tax Department and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had endorsed banning of cryptocurrencies.

The draft bill for banning cryptocurrency has been in the works for some time with Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg leading the exercise.

While strict law would soon be in place to deal with people indulging in trade of cryptocurrency, India is likely to have its own digital currency.

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“A decision on the launch of Digital Rupee would be taken after consulting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” said an official. (IANS)