As the government crackdown on the Deep Web’s underground drug market broadens, the investigation had hit closer to home for some UVM students before it even began.
Sophomore Sid Hammer, 20, of Montpelier pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor possession of LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) and oxycodone at the end of last month, all which were allegedly purchased off of the Silk Road, a police affidavit stated.
After receiving reports of smells of burnt marijuana, Police Services later found an array of drugs, drug paraphernalia and a large sum of money, according to the report.
Hammer, it turned out, had been part of the Silk Road, using Bitcoins– Silk Road’s currency- to purchase drugs and distribute them to other people, including UVM students.
Last May, ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on programs such as PRISM, XKeyscore, and Tempora Internet surveillance programs, which target both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.
Since then, the federal government has continued and expanded its Internet surveillance programs, prompting many web users to look for ways to shield their activity from digital watchdog programs and those who operate them.
Although the Deep Web allows users to access valuable information that would otherwise be hidden from the public eye, it’s also a hotspot for users to organize drug trades, arms deals and even hire hit men.
Launched in 2011, the Silk Road became the Deep Web’s largest underground drug market, often referred to as the