I contributed “Chapter 3: Tor and links with cryptomarkets” for the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction(EMCDDA) book on the “Internet and Drug Markets”.
A summary of the book is as follows:
The last decade has seen the emergence of new internet technologies that have acted as important facilitators of online drug markets. The internet now hosts a range of virtual marketplaces (both on the surface and deep web) for selling and buying illicit substances, as well as representing a new arena for health and law enforcement interventions. This first EMCDDA investigation into the world of online drug markets brings together state-of-the-art input from over 20 experts — from academia, journalism and frontline practice — and contributes to the knowledge base on this part of the supply chain.
The book originated at a conference held in Lisbon, Portugal at the EMCDDA headquarters in 2014. The initial publication was a summary technical report.
I wrote from my experience in helping people setup hidden services for their own needs, from working with law enforcement for over two years to help them investigate the technologies and behaviors of cryptomarkets, and to think about some possibilities for the future of where all this could be going with an eye to the societal benefits and harms. I spent a lot of time reading, researching, for this chapter. Hopefully the references and footnotes are helpful.