Today, the US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced the seizure and shutdown of two nefarious websites, AlphaBay and Hance being served out of a network dubbed as the “dark web.”
Of course Sessions made this development out to be two of the largest busts of drug-dealing websites ever. And to hear his case, it would seem that he made us all safer by busting the site owners and shutting them down to cut off the flow of drugs. But come on, it’s not like kids can easily get a hold of Bitcoins, the only currency accepted on these sites, and so this bust had nothing to do with protecting them. In all reality, by making this bust about illicit drugs, Sessions implied that he was protecting consenting adults from themselves.
I can think of a lot of other crime-related problems that need attention besides what adults choose to do to themselves – like the one in the news most often lately – cybercrime that leaves a contrail of countless theft victims miles wide every day of the week and two or three times on Sunday.
Oh, but wait! Buried deep and toward the end of the announcement, there was a passing mention of the fact that these sites peddled more than just illicit drugs. These two sites were central to the market for hacked data and hacking tools, prime dealers of stolen property and thieves’ tools. But there was so little said about this point that should have been at the forefront in the announcement that it’s mind blowing.
I suppose that even idiots can unknowingly do some really great things. It’s sad though that at least Sessions doesn’t seem to be aware of what an extraordinary job the Justice Department really did in service to the public concerning this bust. Everyone who worked on this case ought to be congratulated and heartily thanked that hackers, at least for the time being, have to find some other way to monetize their booty. But because it was couched as a drug bust, average people will just never know. BOO!