🇬🇧Dark-Web Intelligence, Analysis of the Supply Chain in the Drug Trade and Identification of the Weak Link: ‘the Last-Mile’

dark-web and crime
dark-web and crime
The weak link: the last mile

Archive, February 5, 2018, drug’s last-mile

To analyze, and understand, the real supply-chain structures originate from the marketplaces in the dark-web is helpful a recent job that will be presented next April in Lyon, France, to ‘The Web Conference’. It has already been observed how the dynamics highlight the key role of vendors, rather than marketplace, as it is in them that in the dark-web the final customer trusts on the actual delivery of the product.

The paper presented by researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute is focused on the analysis of the opioid and cocaine market, based on the 2017 transaction data on the four major markets on the dark-web. As 70% of these narcotics transactions on marketplaces are attributable to the United States, Germany, Netherlands and Australia, it is highlighted as per territory :

  • for cocaine vendor and consumers coincide, for opioids no ;
  • vendors are positioned in the same places for both markets ;
  • the place of production does not affect the distribution.

It follows that based on the empirical discovery data the model shows :

  • that cryptomarket structures are not replacing those of consolidated procurement for now, so no disintermediation is taking place that has characterised other markets, whether legal or not ;
  • there is a reconfiguration of retail distribution, for specific countries, which clearly implies less risks for all, vendors and customers at the time of delivery, and that is, within the last-mile.

Now starting from the assumption that, with minimal applied digital shrewdness and in general, tracking / tracing of order and payment is difficult to provide fulfilling results in investigative terms, it is logical to expect that the greatest satisfactions derive from unhinging backwards the ‘physical’ component of the process. In other words, the weak link is supposed to consist in the delivery and, through the reconstruction of the last mile, you get to the vendor. So it doesn’t happen and, as empirical as it is, the models for now show this. Why?

A response for the English market provides the BBC, highlighting as a Royal Mail policy to address the problem simply do not exist : at the same time it takes the example of New Zealand, where policies exist and have given results.

At now the anonymous delivery platforms are not present, and considering the complexity of their eventual structuring is very difficult they will never be, so the cover ways of the last mile will always remain the same ; the logic applied by the dark-web vendors is the same that characterizes the great shipments of illicit goods, and that is, statistically sacrifices, intentionally or not, 1/n shipping to investigative work of the various authorities : the cost of sacrifice is few respect of the overall marginality produced by traffic. With reference to wholesale distribution the caution about the weak link, structured by appropriate digital policy of the ‘last-mile ‘ of marketplace, in dark-web could give good results : the Silk Road affair teaches.

This post was originally published on February 5, 2018, in Italian version on www.thescanner.info .This is adaptation of a neuronal Italian/English AI translation by IBM Watson.

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