Monday October 14, 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)

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Up to 50 Hate Crimes Are Reported Everyday in London

Up to 50 hate crimes are reported to the police in London every day, adding up to 19,000 in 2018, a City Hall report revealed

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Hate crime of any kind cannot be tolerated and we need to ensure that all Londoners can live without physical or verbal prejudice. Pixabay

Up to 50 hate crimes are reported to the police in London every day, adding up to 19,000 in 2018, a City Hall report revealed on Monday.

With offences on the rise since 2011, the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee published a new report calling for more action from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to tackle hate crime in the capital.

The report shows homophobic hate crime reported to London’s Metropolitan Police is up 81 per cent and racist and religious hate crime is up 107 per cent since 2011, Xinhua news agency reported.

The study also shows disability hate crime is up 215 per cent and transphobic hate crime is up 261 per cent.

Most of the hate crime the police record is classed as racist and religious hate crime. In 2018, there were over 16,500 racist and religious hate crime offences.

Apart from the Metropolitan Police, other police services in London are also recording an increase in hate crimes.

British Transport Police (BTP) said that in London in 2018-19, it recorded 2,064 hate crime offences, a slight increase on the previous year.

Around one in four of the offences are committed against railway staff and over half are reported on London Underground trains, said the report.

It said hate crime is recorded across all parts of London, but many offences are concentrated within a few boroughs. Westminster, Camden, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Barnet regularly appear in the top five boroughs for the different strands of reported hate crime.

Spikes in racist and religious hate crime also occurred following events like the EU referendum and London Bridge attack, the report added.

Hate, crime, police, reported, study
Most of the hate crime the police record is classed as racist and religious hate crime. In 2018, there were over 16,500 racist and religious hate crime offences. Pixabay

London Assembly member Unmesh Desai, who chairs the committee, said: “These statistics are alarming and not representative of the vast majority of people living in the capital.

“Hate crime of any kind cannot be tolerated and we need to ensure that all Londoners can live without physical or verbal prejudice.”

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Desai said organisations working across London to tackle hate crime and support victims are faced with a growing number of victims that need help.

The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee called on the Mayor to strengthen efforts to tackle hate crime to ensure that victims can access the support they need. (IANS)