How effective are police ‘hacks’ of 'Darknet' opioid markets

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 30 July 2019


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra


Rod Broadhurst, Matt Ball and Harry Trivedi


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

This presentation examines the impact of Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) disruption of opioid supply on Darknet Markets (DNMs). Closure of DNMs by LEAs such as Operation Onymous (November 2014), Operation Bayonet (May 2017), and recently Operation SaboTOR (March 2019) occur periodically. These operations attempt to undermine trust and market perceptions of immunity by increasing the risk of arrest. Previous research shows displacement to new or non-targeted DNMs is likely rather than general deterrence or diffusion. This raises questions about the form of displacement (temporal, tactical, crime type, offender, or spatial) on:

• overall trends including vendor activity, products, prices, and quantities,
• non-targeted markets and their response to the influx of users, and
• the time frame for partial and full market recovery.

Although not as substantial as street trade, drug trafficking on DNMs continues to grow rapidly. DNMs are global markets and may function as a proxy of international trends in illicit drugs, providing insight into the scale and cost of illicit transactions in addition to conventional seizures and arrests.

About the speakers

Matthew Ball is a Research Assistant at the Australian National University’s Cybercrime Observatory.

Roderic Broadhurst is a Professor of Criminology & Director of the Cybercrime Observatory Australian National University .

Harshit Trivedi is a Graduate Research Assistant and Laboratory Coordinator of the Australian National University’s Cybercrime Observatory.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet