Come For the Drugs. Stay For the Freedom

Political activists come to the Dark Web to be free from government’s prying eyes. They, folks like Snowden and Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, want to undue the control of a government that has gotten so out of the control that it spies on its own citizens (as well as all the citizens they’ve contacted, and the ones they’ve contacted) and sends notes to public libraries warning that the Deep Web is used by criminals and that they shouldn’t operate exit nodes because of this.

The list of activists who are ringing bells against government intrusions of privacy is longer than most people think. It currently includes Ron Wyden, a US Senator who signed onto the Declaration of Internet Freedom and Vince Cerf (one of the ‘Fathers of the internet”) warned that the UN’s updated International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) could be used to oppress political dissidents. The Courage Foundation, which raises funds to support whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, has an advisory board that is filled people who have made protecting free speech and privacy their life’s work. These include Daniel Ellsberg (the guy who exposed the Nixon administration by leaking the Pentagon Papers) and Thomas Drake (former NSA executive who helped blow the whistle on NSA surveillance activity). It also includes Slavoj Žižek, the most influential philosopher of our time. These are some heavy hitters in the cause of freedom and privacy.

Drugs dealers, on the other hand, have a less complicated motivation. They populate the Deep Web to sell drugs.

Those who don’t partake in recreational drugs, may be tempted to think of drug dealers as people who taint our society. Sen. Wyden, for instance, despises even Marijuana use and, (until recently), refused to consider legalization. They might think that drugs, let alone drug users and dealers, don’t serve any purpose.

Oh, how wrong they are!

As direct as their motivations, drug dealers and other criminals serve an important function for the purposes of freedom: They practice it! Their activities undermine a government policy that is silly enough to try to stop naturally occurring economic activity. They also take a pretty big swipe the big banks from America.

Every parcel mailed to a drop in exchange for bitcoin takes one tiny, beautiful little bite out of a war on drugs that has wasted $34 Billion and has jailed 1.4 million people this year alone. This, while the $1 Trillion   in drug sales each year could, if legalized, be going to generate tax revenue in nations throughout the world instead of spending them on things like destroying crops and, hurting the environment. Whether or not Richard Branson was high when he announced that the UN was on the verge of calling for an end to the War on Drugs, the fact is that, as long as drug use -the sale and consumption- continue, an insanely stupid governmental policy is being undermined. DPR knew this and said as much in 2012. “Every single transaction that takes place outside … of state control is a victory for those individuals taking part in the transaction.” he write. “So there are thousands of victories here each week and each one makes a difference … and weakens the state.”

Political activists should like that. They should like the government being stopped when it does something really stupid. And a government that has to think about the harm the War on Drugs has caused as it reshapes policy is a very good thing.

Just like drug use hurts the government’s war on drugs, identity theft, of all things, hurts some of the worst entities in the world: The big banks in America. Last week, DeepDotWeb’s Bejamin Vitaris linked to a story about 23-year New Zealander Timothy Bourke, a man who was busted for stealing credit cards. Bourke was warned that it would be jail if it happened again, was fined $6742.67 as part of his sentencing, with the amount paid directly to the victim.

Yet New Zealand protects its customers who have had their debit and credit cards stolen from the very things that Mr. Bourke did. That means that, in this case, the “victim” mentioned in the piece wasn’t the person who lost their identify to Bourke, but the bank who had to cover the money that Bourke took.

A vast amount of money all over the world originates from American banks. For the past eight eight years, they have been able to borrow it, interest free, from America’s Central Bank. They then turn and loan it to banks all the over the world who offer things like credit to cover people who use their debit card and make regular purchases with their credit cards. Ninety percent of identify theft in the world actually only hurts the banks. Besides being scared, regular people are typically unaffected. So who would be hurt if Bourke hadn’t been caught? Hmmm.

These types of suspicions were once on the fringe of public opinion. But after the Great Recession, there has been a growing consensus that many governments and corporations throughout the world are actually hurting regular people more than they are helping them. People feel these two groups have begun to lose touch with the very people they’re supposed to serve and do business with everyday. Lots of folks feel that there needs to be a correction. If illicit drug traffic through the Deep Web is hurting a dumb government policy and taking a bite out of large corporations like banks, then the activists should be inviting them over for coffee (or a smoke) and asking them how they can help.

Fact is, both groups, activists and the market vendors alike, have a few things in common: They are both labeled as criminals by most international governments. Corporations see them as a threat. And their actions are slowly saving both governments and corporations from their own stupidity.

Zeek does not use drugs or OPP. Zeek does, however, like to write. He also likes to buy cool stuff for his kids. Every .5 bitcoin that’s generously donated means he can afford to take a day off from work and do a little bit of both!

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