#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, August 26th, 2013 11:46
#2 By: Brainpudding, August 26th, 2013 12:02
That's some high production value drug advertising, borrowing heavily from the info graphic aesthetic. That seems wrong to me and I'm fine with drugs.
#3 By: Nathan Hornby, August 26th, 2013 12:09
I need to learn more about these onion sites. I work in the web industry, but the idea of a true black market website is still alien to me.
How does it provide any true security? They mention international trade, how in the hell do they ship weed through customs? And as it would have an address on it, how is it any different from getting a dealer to post you drugs?
I'd also note the production value of the video as a previous commenter did (although nothing to say it wasn't thrown together by a student for a couple beers, it's not that high production), I think this kind of thing gives more legitimacy to the industry personally. I've gotten quite bored of the online pirate aesthetic, like 8-bit music played to ASCII graphics in some key cracking software from the 90s. It's time the black market grew up a bit
#4 By: Stephen Schenck, August 26th, 2013 12:35
Serial. ASCII's so primitive. Now, ANSI art, on the other hand...
#5 By: Brendan Kidwell, August 26th, 2013 13:20
It's a combination of some good standardized IT security tools, some spycraft, and a heavy dose of paranoia. Tor allows you to (in theory, provided not enough of the network has been compromised) make a web connection to a remote Tor site such that you are completely anonymous and the site is authenticated as definitely owning the domain name you used, while not having any good clues about WHERE or WHO that site is. Atlantis makes it easy for people engaged in transactions to use GPG to exchange public encryption keys so that they can send messages such that only the receiver with his password to unlock his private key can read them. BitCoin and LiteCoin allow you to transfer currency pseudo-anonymously using a consensus-based peer-to-peer network, such that the sender and receiver need not know each others' identities, and the transaction cannot possibly be undone unless both parties agree to it (send the money back). (Edit: Atlantis provides ESCROW of the transferred funds in an Atlantis BitCoiin or LiteCoin wallet, until the rest of the transaction is settled, Ebay-style. My point was, there are no credit-card style "charge-backs".)
I am not a user, so I am speculating here: The physical contact part of the transaction -- mailing a package from point A to point B -- seems to be depdending on simply not being noticed among the torrent of regular mail.
#6 By: Nathan Hornby, August 26th, 2013 13:25
#7 By: Bob "Genghis" Khan, August 26th, 2013 13:44
#8 By: Kakindie Mielies, August 27th, 2013 11:50
Even though Atlantis may have some better tools, Silk Road has a very loyal base so it will be very hard to switch users over. The first mover in an industry often has a big advantage and in an illegal one such as this it will hard to convince people to change. The users on the Silkroad forums are very active and that makes it a strong community.
Most people that have visited both sites will agree that Silkroad has a far better selection of products. Most merchants that have accounts on Atlantis get just a handful of orders a month. It comes down to trust. Silkroad was set up and grew organically while Atlantis's self promotion smacks of desperation. Who knows who the owners of Atlantis are, they may have been set up by Feds to trap dealers in a sting down the road somewhere. It all seems a bit fake and phony.
#9 By: Rômulo Z., August 27th, 2013 13:46
This is a stock animation made from a template. Which is super obvious and quite cheesy to people who have seen it before — I found this so over-the-top generic I wondered if it was an intentionally clever parody of "friendly" corporate communication, super-happy 'whistling and ukeleles' tune and all.
But otherwise not a bad way to invest $30 in 'production value'. Worked on you!
A quick look at the best selling templates on one of the source websites and you can easily find the one they (and over a thousand others) have used:
Promote Your Product or Service With Charlie
One wonders if the other people who "hired" Charlie as a spokescartoon would mind having their product associated with his latest gig. Winning!
#10 By: Mark Frauenfelder, August 31st, 2013 11:46
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