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This chapter investigates how new technologies of encryption and cryptocurrencies enable entrepreneurial opportunities outside legality in the dark net. Since ventures on…
This chapter investigates how new technologies of encryption and cryptocurrencies enable entrepreneurial opportunities outside legality in the dark net. Since ventures on illicit dark net markets lack access to the legal system and to law enforcement agencies, they must rely on mechanisms for settling disputes with business partners without the involvement of mediating agencies. To this end, the presence of trust is decisive in coordinating cryptomarket activities. Hence, entrepreneurs on dark net markets utilize technology to gain trust, establishing new ways of drug dealing, with disruptive potential for classic illicit drug markets. Against this background, this chapter shows how technological change affects the identity of entrepreneurs on the dark net. Special emphasis is given to the entrepreneurs’ self-concept, their consumer service, knowledge and capabilities and how, in a holistic view, this development innovates the traditional way of dealing illicit drugs.
Consumer research and marketing rarely examine illegal forms of economic life despite the fact that market terminology is often (and increasingly) applied to describe the…
Consumer research and marketing rarely examine illegal forms of economic life despite the fact that market terminology is often (and increasingly) applied to describe the exchange relations in illicit markets like prostitution and drug consumption. Represents an attempt to use a consumer research perspective to explore the youth consumption of illicit recreational drugs. The findings show that the illicit structure of the market for recreational drugs has a direct effect on the consumer decision‐making process in terms of expectations, risk judgments and source credibility. The findings highlight the importance of social networks and implicit exchange relations in the market for recreation drugs. The paper concludes that there is value in a drawing on a consumer research approach to examine illicit marketing contexts.
Cryptomarkets on the dark web have emerged as a hub for the sale of illicit drugs. They have made it easier for the customers to get access to illicit drugs online while…
Cryptomarkets on the dark web have emerged as a hub for the sale of illicit drugs. They have made it easier for the customers to get access to illicit drugs online while ensuring their anonymity. The easy availability of potentially harmful drugs has resulted in a significant impact on public health. Consequently, law enforcement agencies put a lot of effort and resources into shutting down online markets on the dark web. A lot of research work has also been conducted to understand the working of customers and vendors involved in the cryptomarkets that may help the law enforcement agencies. In this research, we present a ranking methodology to identify and rank top markets dealing in harmful illicit drugs. Using named entity recognition, a harm score of a drug market is calculated to indicate the degree of threat followed by the ranking of drug markets. The top-ranked markets are the ones selling the most harmful drugs. The rankings thus obtained can be helpful to law enforcement agencies by locating specific markets selling harmful illicit drugs and their further monitoring.
For local law enforcement agencies, the subject of illicit drugs can appear all‐pervasive. Any multifaceted problem situated in an intrusive media and political…
For local law enforcement agencies, the subject of illicit drugs can appear all‐pervasive. Any multifaceted problem situated in an intrusive media and political environment raises difficult challenges concerning the allocation of resources. This article explores the process behind Lancashire Constabulary's decision to highlight Class A open drug markets as an operational priority, and looks at how a multi‐agency intelligence process, based on geographic mapping methodology (GIS), was initiated to direct enforcement and preventative activity.
Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the…
Internet use has changed the mechanics of drug dealing. Although this has spurred some initial academic interest in how markets and their users have been changing, the issue is still under-researched. The purpose of this paper is to understand how the organisation of the distribution of prescription drugs and other illegal drugs overlap in these online markets by analysing data gathered from observation of the Swedish Facebook drug market and its participants.
Data were gathered during three months of digital ethnography conducted among Swedish Facebook posters supplemented by 25 interviews with sellers (20) and buyers (5). Screenshots and interview data were coded by carrying out an NVivo-based content analysis. The analysis is based on descriptive statistics of drug types, co-occurrence with other drugs, group size and the demographic characteristics of sellers. Additionally, the interviewees’ descriptions of the marketplace and their drug dealing or buying activities were included in the analysis.
In total, 57 Swedish Facebook groups that sold illegal substances were located. The groups rarely specialised in specific drug types, but were convened around demographic factors, such as specific cities and locales. The sales of prescription drugs were part of the overall activity of groups selling other illegal drugs, but they were more often sold in separate Facebook posts, possibly by specialist sellers. Swedish Facebook sales primarily concerned alprazolam, tramadol, pregabalin and clonazepam, and were sold by both professional and amateur sellers.
This study reports findings from a Nordic comparative study on social media drug dealing, representing the first in-depth study of digitally mediated prescription drug dealing outside of cryptomarkets.
Trading illicit drugs on cryptomarkets differs in many ways from material retail markets. This paper aims to contribute to existing studies on pricing by studying the…
Trading illicit drugs on cryptomarkets differs in many ways from material retail markets. This paper aims to contribute to existing studies on pricing by studying the relationship between price changes in relation to changes in nominal value of the cryptocurrency. To this, the authors qualitatively study product descriptions and images to expand the knowledge on price formation.
The authors analysed 15 samples based on visual and textual scrapes from two major drug markets – for Dream Market between January 2014 and July 2015 and for Tochka between January 2015 and July 2015. This longitudinal study relates changes in process to variations in the Bitcoin exchange rate and selling strategies. The analysis of the marketing of drugs online also addressed the development of the vendor profile and product offers.
Product prices change in relation to variations in the Bitcoin exchange rate. This points to the application of mechanisms for automatic price adaptations on the market level. Real prices of the drug offers constantly increase. The authors assert that there is a bidirectional relationship. Vendors structure price and discounts to encourage feedback. And feedback in combination with signals of commitment and authenticity inform pricing. Product descriptions are an important feature in the successful marketization of goods, whereas product images are predominantly used as an aspect of recognisability and feature of the vendor’s identity.
Findings suggest that there is great potential for further qualitative research into the relationship between the online and offline identity of drug vendors, as well as price setting when entering the market and subsequent changes for offered products.
Findings also suggest that further investigation into the constitution and management of vendor’s identity on the cryptomarkets would allow a better understanding of vendors and their interactions on cryptomarkets.
A better understanding of drug trading on cryptomarkets helps to more effectively address potentials for harm in the online drug trade. Also targetting crime would benefit from a better understanding of vendor idenities and pricing.
The findings represent a valuable contribution to existing knowledge on drug trading on cryptomarkets, particularly in view of pricing and vending strategies.
The movement of policing from a traditional reactive approach to a more proactive ‘intelligence‐led’ approach has been a widespread but infrequently evaluated process…
The movement of policing from a traditional reactive approach to a more proactive ‘intelligence‐led’ approach has been a widespread but infrequently evaluated process. This study compares 200 offenders arrested for dealing Class A drugs in public spaces, half of whom have been arrested through ‘intelligence‐led’ police operations and half of whom have been arrested through traditional ‘reactive’ approaches. Analysis shows the offenders arrested through an intelligence‐led approach show a ‘local lifestyle’ profile. They are more likely to be older, be unemployed and live closer to their drug market, are less likely to diversify in relation to the illicit drugs sold, and show a high incidence of prior offending (especially in relation to acquisitive crime). The study argues that taking an intelligence‐led approach to open drug markets identifies prolific offenders who cause the most distress to the local community, as well as highlighting those most in need for treatment services.
This chapter explores the relationship between the global drug policy agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Development is one of the key…
This chapter explores the relationship between the global drug policy agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Development is one of the key pillars of the UN's charter; however, sustainable development and drug policy have existed in separate policy spaces for decades. During 2015 and 2016, two parallel processes took place at the UN – the adoption of the 2015 SDGs, superseding the Millennium Development Goals, and the 2016 UN Special Session on the world drug problem (UNGASS), a global convening of countries to create a way forward to address illicit drugs. This chapter explores how a group of reform-oriented countries, UN agencies and civil society stakeholders used the UNGASS to advocate for better policy alignment with development principles. While some headway was made, tensions remain about allowing a development approach into the drug policy realm. This chapter argues that given strong pushback to maintain a law enforcement-driven agenda by many countries, better alignment will not happen without more clarity on what sustainable development–driven drug policy is and without champions to push these ideas in the drug policy arena.