The global drug survey has been published and the data it reveals is shocking. For example, the number of people in England who buy drugs on the dark web has doubled since 2014.
The annual survey asked more than 100,000 people from more than 30 countries and their data showed that England also had the dubious honor of appearing in third place in illegal drugs at home, only behind Scotland and Brazil.
Apart from the risks involved in drug use, the way in which you access them can also pose an added risk. It is dangerous to give personal data on the dark web. “If you have given your name, someone knows that you have bought drugs,” said the founder of the study, Dr. Adam Winstock, “then there is the possibility of being blackmailed.”
What is the dark web ?
The dark web is a network of hidden websites that cannot be traced. You may have heard it called the deep web, but that’s inaccurate. The deep web is just not indexable content, ie, the ordinary Internet (called Surface Net or Red Clean) but you can’t reach it from Google. For example, forms, databases or password protected content.
The dark web, on the other hand, is a fragment of the network that can only be accessed through specific applications such as TOR . In this part of the Internet everything is anonymous and I could not be tracked (if you know what you are doing, of course). That is why the trade in drugs, weapons and all kinds of illegalities abounds. Being an uncontrolled place, if you give your credit card or address to be sent whatever you buy, it is very possible that you will be scammed, blackmailed or extorted.
The BBC podcast The Next Episode found hundreds of people who claim to have lived that situation: “I received a threatening message that said: ‘I have your address’ and threatening to make it public, appear there or send something unpleasant,” says one of those affected. “Obviously I don’t have any legal consumer protection.”
But not everything is bad on the dark web. Many of the myths about it are false and have quite a lot of pages with constructive content. In addition, the dark web gives space to persecuted activists in countries without freedom of expression and helps many to skip local censorship to access information.