Silk Road


Buying drugs on the Internet seems like an oxymoron, but the practice is actually starting to expand.

The online blackmarket, Silk Road, is the latest of a handful of black market sites created on the Internet. Silk Road is only accessible through a secure browser called Tor and transactions can only be made with a decentralized, digital currency called Bitcoin.

It is secure because it requires you to use Tor [an encrypted browser] and asymmetric encryption when sending your address [to the seller],” sophomore John Doe said.

Despite his claims, Silk Road being 100 percent secure is a fallacy many of it’s users have. The site, although secure, is not foolproof. According to Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin development team, Bitcoin transactions are not secure because they are recorded in a public log. It is not as simple as looking at the log and identifying the user, but if law enforcement agencies are determined, the users can be traced.

It is not likely for the authorities to go through all this trouble to find a small quantity of illegal, but usually harmless drugs. Checking suspicious packages has been an issue in Australia. Australia arrested one person in 2013  for selling  illegal drugs through the Silk Road in Australia.

For users, the Silk Road’s greatest feature is it’s ease of use and options. At one’s fingertips lies a plethora of illegal drugs and other items not sold publicly like fake IDs and cell tower jammers. The site is relatively new, launching in February of 2011. Although drugs such as marijuana and alcohol are obtainable for most students, Silk Road could give students access to a larger range of intenser drugs. Also, without the hassle of finding a supplier for obscurer drugs, students are able to obtain them with less resistance.

“I [bought] LSD. I could have gotten [it], but no one has [it] right now,” John Doe said.

Providing students with a large range of drugs more powerful than marijuana can have unintended consequences.

“If it opens up the supply, that’s bad. You don’t know who you are buying it from [or if it is] real,” Student Resource Officer Scott Daniels said.

Despite it’s potential, Silk Road is a blip on the international flow of drugs. Silk Road’s worldwide sales, including drugs and other items, are $18.6 million a year, according to GQ, while the U.S.’s illegal drug sales are estimated at $60 billion, according to

By Thomas McDonald

Web Editor in Chief

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