Earlier this year in March, the Policia Nacional was one nation among others in Europe that partnered with the US and Canada to shut down over 50 dark web marketplaces.
As part of Spain’s crackdown against the illegal marketplaces on the dark web, the national police arrested a dark web user last year who they have identified as being an extensive dealer of cannabis on the dark web.
The man was detained in his home in the Malaga town of Mijas after his residence was linked to a dark web cannabis supply conspiracy. He was arrested on the suspicion of using online tools for the purpose of hiding his location. This included the Tor onion browser, Bitcoin cryptocurrency, and other encryption technology.
The Tor onion browser is used as a way to keep your internet searches and activity private while Bitcoin cryptocurrency is known for its dependability and anonymity.
While the use of any of this technology is not inherently illegal, it is often employed by illegal dealers in an effort to shield their identity and escape prosecution for their crimes.
The operation began last year as officers began investigating certain dark web individuals which led them to the man who was detained.
The illegal sales of cannabis harm respectable businesses that operate within the scope of the law. There is also concern about the lack of oversight and potential health and safety issues of the crops.
As part of the operation, 2 kilograms of cannabis that had been prepared in small packages for distribution was seized. Envelopes, packing material, a vacuum packing machine and cutting and weighing tools were also found. In addition, officers also seized two computers and a telephone-related to the operation.
More arrests are expected as part of the ongoing investigation. A Policia Nacional statement noted, “The operation remains open for the identification and location of more than 60 online sellers who are being investigated.”
Understanding the Dark Web
It’s called the dark web not just because of the shady dealings that occur through its networks, but also because it is a part of the internet that is not indexed by web search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. Users and networks use encryption devices to hide themselves and their activities from police officials around the world.
The dark web is a host to marketplaces that deal in all sorts of criminal activities, ranging from the sale of illegal drugs, illicit firearms, illegal pornography, hacking services, the exchange of stolen information and as a way to communicate for terrorist groups.
While the dark web is ripe for fostering illegal activities, many users prefer the services simply because of the anonymity they are afforded as compared to Google, which has a history of tracking its users.
The dark web can be used for bitcoin services, expansive puzzles and even as a social media platform. Facebook and others have even begun to release dark web versions of their platforms to address concerns over privacy and user information.
The famous journalist Jamie Bartlett has written articles and given lectures on the uses and repercussions of the dark web in an effort to educate the general populace.