Inside a drug testing lab for the deep web


from the article:
Since 2011, with the launch of Silk Road, anybody has been able to safely buy illegal drugs from the deep web and have them delivered to their door.

That’s not a responsible statement.

Otherwise, good article. And good people doing good work. They are the of illicit drugs. Another example of how anonymous communication can save lives.

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What do you mean by this?

He means it’s not “safe” to be buying illegal drugs over the internet - either in the sense that you don’t know what you’re really getting, in the idea of giving your home address to someone who would mail these to you, or a combination of both.


Decent article. Misses the more detailed configuration of the lab equipment (what detector? mass chromatography, most likely? what flavor of MS?).

As a thought about getting these labs more common… what about some standard procedures, so new labs that pop up can share the methods? Equipment configurations? Open-hardware alternatives to the control electronics, so if something is bought as a brain-dead scrap on eBay it can be brain-transplanted without having to deal with boards made of gold-plated unobtainium? Cheap standards for easy calibration?

(And, as a next step, open-hardware rest-of-the-machines? The electronics is nailed down by now, the mechanics is in the domain of CNC machining, laser-cutting, 3d-printing and contract manufacturing, the more advanced parts (the tubes for the GC columns, or, more accurately, their inner coating) can be brought down to commodity level prices with high enough demand (or, at least, ones from different vendors could be mix-and-matched), and the optics, well, it remains being the problem. (Though that also may be solvable; look at the rudimentary-but-anyway LWIR optics for cheap laser cutters, or the fairly high-end laser optics in BluRay heads.))

(The DIY CNC is a fairly big segment now. DIY drones as well. So why not DIY analytical equipment?)


That’s an interesting idea–kind of like a VM, but for lab equipment instead. I listened to an interesting show put on yesterday by Diane Rehm put on a good show about the rise of DIY weaponry and how that might affect local, state, and national governance.

The Future of Violence:

When it comes to the kinds of threats we face, our world used to be a more straight forward place. Declarations of war were between nation states. Only countries with the technical know-how could make a nuclear bomb. But as authors Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum say in their new book, we are facing a future where we all could walk around with a weapon of mass destruction in our pocket – in other words our cell phones. Technological advances mean, more than ever, every person has the capacity to attack individuals and states, which raises fundamental questions about the role of governments in protecting their citizens.


Two hours of sound to which one has to actively maintain attention. Is there a transcript, please?

Another article that confuses the dark web and the deep web :confounded:

VM = virtual machine. I was thinking of the Bitnami stacks, where the whole set of applications and settings is pre-packaged such that a user can simply issue a command to install and run The Thing, after which the user will have a fully functional application. Used for installing all sorts of stuff like Joomla, CRM suites, etc.: Bitnami Stacks.
And I don’t have the transcript for the Diane Rehm show I mentioned, but here’s a transcript of the same authors speaking at the Brookings Institute on the same topic:

But the claim of the book is that we're heading at some rather rapid pace toward a world in which: (a) the power to attack is universal; (b) the distance over which you can conduct those attacks is not limited geographically; and (c) thus, the power of the state or any state, any one state to protect the safety of its people is to some degree or another impaired. In the world of many to many threats, the basic question of the book is how do you govern a world like that?
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