While the monetary value is low, Ireland has a trade in drug sales on the dark net, the EU’s drugs and police agencies have said.
In a report, ‘Drugs and the Darknet’, two agencies said that the hidden online network was very resilient and was able to “quickly absorb law enforcement actions” such as the takedown of a major marketplace.
It said that most communication between sellers and buyers on dark net markets now involve multilayered encryption.
It said encryption communication services enable criminals to “effectively and indefinitely hide critical evidence and activities” from police and customs.
The report, compiled by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and Europol, said that half of EU member states surveyed had noticed an increase in the use of encrypted email.
It said all these developments provide “serious challenges” for investigators.
In addition, it said evidence had emerged that instant messaging and social media applications using GPS technologies were being used for drug distribution in some cities.
“There is a need for ‘capacity building’ and increased investment,” said the report.
“EU member states are often faced with significant skills gaps for conducting investigations on the darknet, and many authorities lack experts who have both a technical understanding of cybercrime investigation and expertise in operational drug-related crime activities.”.
Source: Cormac O'Keffee, 29/11/17