The traffickers of firearms turn to the “darknet”

Les trafiquants d’armes à feu se tournent vers le «darknet»

Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
The emergence of the “darknet” is a new challenge for the authorities who attempt to stem the traffic of weapons.

Criminals lurk in the dark corners of the Internet, employ cryptomonnaies difficult to trace and invent techniques for illegally selling firearms in Canada, warns the royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP).

The emergence of the ” darknet “networks hidden in the depths of the Internet and can only be accessed by software that is designed to measure, and represents a new challenge for the authorities who attempt to stem the traffic of weapons, recognizes Rob O’reilly, acting director of regulation services on the firearms to the RCMP.

If the police are able to eliminate some of the black markets online as Silk Road in recent years, others have appeared in the depths of cyberspace, said Mr. O’reilly at a recent national symposium on criminal gangs and guns.

In particular, he highlighted the site online Berlusconi, which had 234 entries for weapons such as rifles, AR-15, AK-47, various weapons and endless ammo.

The weapons are sold there just like opioids, heroin, cocaine, malicious software, stolen data, rançonciels, credit cards stolen, and even the depleted uranium, polonium-210 is radioactive and poisons as dangerous as ricin.

Mr. O’reilly has even shown a photo of a magazine and ammunition for an AR-15 delivered by a seller in Montana to a purchaser of Sudbury, Ontario, who had no weapons permit. The seller has made a number of sales related to firearms through the darknet before being arrested. Each product sold was wrapped in plastic before being wrapped in a bag of mylar. It was then concealed in a packet of food.

“The vendors from the darknet rely on very clever to sell firearms and parts, said Mr. O’reilly. In the community of the darknet, this phenomenon is known under the name of the delivery stealth. Their bit is to conceal or hide the real content of the judicial authorities and the customs services. “

Pistols have been delivered to game consoles, computer hard drives, dryers, or pieces of chocolate, he added. “We have even seen rifles hidden behind a flat screen tv. “

The digital revolution has seen the birth of devices that allow buyers to visit anonymously sites like Berlusconi and purchase items without leaving traces.

The Tor network is often used by government agencies, activists, journalists and whistleblowers who want to protect their online activities, grants to Mr. O’reilly, but it is also used by people with intentions less noble, as buyers of weapons illegal.

Similarly, the cryptomonnaies as the Bitcoin — the digital currency and the most accepted on the sites on the darknet — enable to hide the terms and conditions of a transaction to the authorities.

“Such currencies represent real challenges to the judicial authorities because they do not have a physical existence. It is difficult to trace without specific software that is very expensive and a staff of highly trained, ” says Mr O’reilly.