Drug War

Federal Law Enforcement Hits Reddit Seeking to Nab Darkweb Users


Scary news from Andy Greenberg at Wired  for all of us who treasure the idea that on the Internet no one knows whether you are a drug dealer or a dog.

Seems the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs enforcement wants Reddit to tell them personal data about five users of a Reddit r/darkmarkets forum. Greenberg thinks the investigation is clearly regarding the now-gone darkmarket Evolution, another place where illegal items could be bought and sold with relative impunity.

Greenberg reports:

All five targets of the subpoena were involved, to varying degrees, in the Reddit discussion of that black market's abrupt disappearance two weeks ago, in which two top administrators apparently absconded with millions of dollars worth of bitcoin belonging to Evolution's buyers and sellers.

According to a copy of the subpoena shared with WIRED by one of the forum's moderators who was named in the document, the DHS seeks information that includes the names, IP addresses, dates and times of site visits as well as other data that Reddit likely doesn't possess, including the users' phone numbers and financial data. (Reddit doesn't even require an email address to sign up.)

One of the targeted has been pretty brazen under his pseudonym:

The apparently Australian NSWGreat went so far as to host an "ask me anything" session on Reddit as an internet drug trafficker and public relations staffer for Evolution's black market. "Given the date and the affected accounts, it doesn't take Holmes to deduce the reason for this subpoena," writes Gwern [another target of the subpoena] in a statement he sent to WIRED. "Just one naked connection revealing [NSWGreat's] home IP would be enough, and if he's like past market employees, a raid will turn up all the damning evidence one could hope for."

Reddit may not cover your ass as much you might hope:

When WIRED reached out to Reddit, a spokesperson pointed to the site's privacy policy, which states that Reddit does collect IP addresses and other potentially identifying data from users, which it deletes after 90 days. The policy adds that it may disclose that data to law enforcement—or hold it longer than 90 days—if legally required to do so. Reddit's spokesperson wouldn't comment on whether or when the company might comply with the DHS subpoena…..

The DHS's subpoena will no doubt serve as a jarring reminder to Reddit's dark web drug forum that those discussions are nakedly public and potentially vulnerable to law enforcement. Though the drug sales themselves are generally hosted on sites that require users to run the anonymity software Tor to hide their identities, Reddit offers no such protection….

My December Reason feature on the takedown of founding father darknet illegal marketplace Silk Road.

NEXT: How a Business Owner Becomes Criminally Liable for How Customers Spend ATM Withdrawals

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  1. Surely you mean “deep web” users?

  2. Federal Law Enforcement Hits Reddit Seeking to Nab Darkweb Users
    two top administrators apparently absconded with millions of dollars worth of bitcoin belonging to Evolution’s buyers and sellers.
    Um, no. That coin properly belongs to the state, and that is what ICE is looking for. They couldn’t care less about who currently is holding their property.

  3. Reddit – I like t even less than /b/

  4. Reddit – I like t even less than /b/

    1. *Nobody* likes /b/tards, not even other /b/tards.

  5. Those IP addresses were on a hard drive that crashed …

    1. Way OT and maybe too late for some. Solid-state disks are awesome. Cold boot a loaded, hibernated, Win7 OS in 10 seconds. If you don’t buy your next desktop or laptop with a solid-state drive you are participating in an inventory reduction scheme comparable to buying 1973 Ford Pinto that you intend to fix up in the garage and use for your local errands. What were we talking about?

      1. Tell us about the snow again grandpa.

        1. Snow? He had snow?

          We didn’t even have water. We had to smash oxygen and hydrogen atoms together to make water.

          And then we had to freeze it and throw it up in the air.

  6. Something happened recently to Reddit CEO, Ellen Pao, worse than than disposing her plastic water bottle in a non-recyclable dumpster.

  7. http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..rance-day/

    Remember folks Anonymous are fascists, as in Illinois Nazi fascists.

    1. I think there is a bit more to Fascism than hating Israel and being an asshole. “Antisemites” maybe. Some of them are probably something akin to fascists.

    2. Anti-Zionism has become an SJW cause all of the sudden. This has something to do with Zionism itself, which I cannot explain, the progressive victim stack. which I cannot explain, and the deliberate relocation of Muslims into the West and the US, another thing I cannot explain. Sometimes I get the feeling that there is someone behind the curtain, with or without my meds.

    3. Yeah, you know that *Anonymous* is just a label under which a whole bunch of disparate people go and do a whole bunch of disparate things, right?

      Anonymous is about as fascists as a herd of cats.

      Anonymous is just the label crazy morons use to make themselves feel good about fucking with other people.

  8. on the Internet know one knows whether

    Shouldn’t that be “know one noes”?

  9. Though the drug sales themselves are generally hosted on sites that require users to run the anonymity software Tor to hide their identities, Reddit offers no such protection

    While Reddit does not FORCE this type of protection, it is still possible that the people subpoenaed were using Tor to connect to Reddit, which means their IP address will only be that of a Tor exit node.

    1. Or at a minimum using proxy servers to hide their true IP address. One would think that regular visitors to that subreddit would be the type to always use proxies.

  10. Trevor Noah’s comedic stylings on the subject of Asians are just as incisive and witty as his other jokes:

    “”””Just saw a Japanese supporter crying after the loss. His eyes were so small the tears came out as mist.”””””””

    “””””You can tell how angry the Chinese kid at the factory was by how hard it is to open the packaging.”””””

    “””””This is getting out of hand. I just saw an Asian chick so white that she’s started dating black guys.”””””

    He is the greatest comedian of our times.

  11. Bangarangs in the deep are sonic booms for pigs.

  12. Surely he was using proxies out the ass for that. If not, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of sympathy.

    1. Dare I say, seven proxies?

        1. More like seven bronies.

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