Dark Web Ethicists? Maybe One or Two?

April 15, 2020

Believe it or not, ethical criminals do exist. At least to a point. The Independent describes the line Monopoly Market will not cross in it’s article, “Coronavirus: Dark Web Market Bans Drug Dealers Selling Fake Covid-19 Vaccines.” (The experts estimate we are at least 18 months away from developing a real vaccine.) The market also blocked sales of purported cures and related scarce supplies. Reporter Anthony Cuthbertson writes:

“The site is a relatively new market on the dark web, counting just over 100 active vendors who sell and ship illegal drugs to buyers in exchange for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and monero. The warning to sellers comes amid a recent influx of coronavirus-related drugs and treatments advertised by scammers and criminals across dark web marketplaces. ‘Any vendor caught flogging goods as a “cure” to coronavirus will not only be permanently removed from this market but should be avoided like the Spanish flu,’ a Monopoly Market administrator wrote in a forum post. The site also forbids users from selling items that have been impacted by shortages, such as protective face masks and toilet roll. ‘You do not, under any circumstances use Covid-19 as a marketing tool,’ the post stated. ‘No magical cures, no silly f***ing mask selling, toilet paper selling. None of that b*******. We have class here.’”

Other dark web vendors are still peddling fake and vaccines and cures, to be sure. However, dark web forum discussions show even career cyber criminals feel that the gravity of this pandemic warrants restraint. Furthermore, sites that market illegal drugs are urging their vendors to use glasses, masks, and gloves while preparing their wares. Coming from a crowd that usually does not balk at stoking fears to make a profit, this attitude illustrates how severe the current situation is.

Cynthia Murrell, April 15, 2020

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