Many arrests and Bitcoin seizures are the results off a long term operation in which homeland security exposed the Darknet. Many arrests were made after homeland security identified a Darknet weapons seller and exposed the trades done in the dark dooms of the internet. Following the six month investigation many international buyers of firearms and weapons were arrested. $80,000 worth of Bitcoins was seized in the operation and homeland security believes they will be able to clean up the darkest corners of the web and stop illegal activity on the internet. HIS agents used a fake username to identify future buyers of the illegal firearms and followed up with multiple arrests.
The Darknet is an anonymous web market where peer to peer transactions are made and many of them for illicit purposes. The Darknet also expands into smaller marketplaces where products can be viewed and shared from the comfort of their own home. This bust was made on the marketplace “Agora” and the fact that it is so widely spread and peer to peer makes it almost impossible to trace. Real names are not used and the product is shipped worldwide. It is also very secretive and similar to the pirate bay as they are all hidden and hard to remove and censor.
However homeland security managed to infiltrate this secret society which always seemed very unlikely as information was only transferred between close “friends” and never openly.
“Four illegal firearms, ammunition, two clandestine laboratories, precursor chemicals, methamphetamines, pseudoephedrine, steroids, computer equipment and mobile telephones were seized,” according to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
“On a global level, the operation led to 17 arrests across the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. These arrests resulted in the further seizures of firearms, ballistic armour, illicit drugs and $80,000 in Bitcoins,” a customs statement said.
In the future HIS agents hope to be able to track down more illegal sellers and stop the Darknet being out of the governments control and free to do as it pleases. The Darknet has been an illegal yet completely unstoppable force as it is virtually impossible to discover who is doing what. This investigation also highlights that no matter how complex cyber criminals become Homeland security will never be too far. Many cyber criminals believe as it is online it is impossible to track but whenever a click is made it is all still there like a cyber-footprint that can be used to identify the individuals behind these acts of unlawful activity.
Although the operation was a tremendous success customs and border protection will continue in its battle against the criminals of society and bring them to justice. Hopefully it will continue similar operations to lower the bad reputation Bitcoin is getting as it is a user friendly currency and was not made for these corrupt purposes.