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Can you justify keeping client records on DNMs? F**k no.

From the very first day of Silk Road, the word from atop mount DPR was clear and non negotiable; thou shalt not retain client information after processing orders.

So, it’s a little concerning that word has been getting around the DNMs recently that a vendor may have leaked an annoyed client’s first initial, after threatening, jokingly or not, to send a large quantity of drugs to that client’s home. No doubt, some will say “ayyyy, she probably deserved it”, whilst others will be aghast that, shock and horror of all horrors, their vendor of choice maybe isn’t, in fact, getting rid of their details straight after the order ships. The title of DNM vendor is not in any way similar to a lawyer-client relationship, where one risks being unceremoniously stripped of the right to earn an income by the peak regulator, if one were to break the rules; indeed, there is really no effective punitive manner in which marketplaces can enforce, or audit, compliance with the ‘no keeping client records’ rule. Get kicked off one market for a data breach? Simple – head to another market, and change your name, or maybe even don’t change your name. Not a very effective disincentive, is it?

It’s the stuff of nightmares – Imagine if every vendor on a DNM was secretly developing a blackmail file as a second source of income for after their time as a vendor winds down. Not everyone has a drop and a fake name through which goods can be shipped… a name and an address are more than enough to tie someone’s online purchasing to their real life, with potentially catastrophic consequences. I’d like to think this is unlikely to be the case for reasons which will come to light as we progress (at least from a practical standpoint, ignoring the ethical issues initially). What if the vendor’s criminal ethical codex does not include the age old wisdom that ‘snitches get stitices’, and they’ve purposefully been accumulating client information with a view to using it as a bartering tool to assist LE and get themselves out of a jam?

Anonymity and security in the world of DNMs specifically, and indeed, criminal enterprises generally, will only ever be as good as the weakest link. You can get away from a murder scene, destroy the murder weapon, be certain you weren’t caught on CCTV and didn’t leave any living witnesses, and all of it may come to nothing, if you talk about it later and it is overheard and makes its way into the LE intelligence pipeline. The best PGP communications discipline, stealth shipping methodologies, all of it, might prevent you from being “caught in the act”, but leaving materials lying around to be back investigated later by someone who manages to compromise your data, simply reeks of a lack of professionalism. Getting caught up owing to your inability to maintain a clean house ‘after the fact’ is something which has ruined more than one seemingly professional organization. Forget the supposed Libertarian ethos of the original SR if you wish, and concentrate on the money, and perhaps even allow yourself a chuckle at those who follow such concepts, but seriously, don’t even consider retaining your client data.

Why you shouldn’t keep identifiable client data at all, from a practical standpoint.

By compiling identifiable client information and either directly, indirectly or tacitly admitting you perhaps keep it (by admitting you have it, losing it in a leak, or hinting that you have it by making veiled threats), you are giving LE another incentive to bust your operation; it will give them intelligence likely to help facilitate further investigations and prosecutions of your buyers, which, as long time readers will know, is part of the game for LE… they don’t want to have to go back to cutting speeding tickets, either as an individual or as a larger group, so there is incentive to either investigate all the material, or at least acquire it for some civilian underling to dig through. Additionally, it will allow them to back investigate the transactions more effectively, and produce a stronger case against you, perhaps by seeking cooperation from clients. Its also unlikely to look good in court if the prosecution can say that you managed to land your product in “X” number of states.

Even if you don’t hint at the fact that you’re holding onto client data, you need to take a risk averse approach and consider worst case scenario if you want to be anything approaching professional; LE is at your door and ripping out the dry wall, and somehow, perhaps using some James Bond, “TEMPEST” shit, managed to snag a copy of the password protecting your ‘business files’. This belies a better approach – If you don’t have client files, THEY CAN’T BE RECOVERED, James Bond shit or not.

So leaving aside the practicalities, let’s look at it from the ethics side of things. Your clientele is rewarding you, the vendor, with both their trust and their cash; let’s be realistic, there’s a high degree of probability that your operation is not the only show in town at which they can buy what you’re selling. If you’re vending on most DNMs, you’ve agreed as a component of their terms and conditions, in a non legally enforceable context (seeing as they ARE regarded as criminal enterprises, after all) that you aren’t going to hold on to client data. Agora, for example, set the bar high on this point – client privacy is sacrosanct. If clients can’t trust you, clients can’t, in theory, trust other vendors, or that whole marketplace, or, indeed, the whole DNM concept as a whole.

Keeping records of your clientele, whatever the reason, is deplorable. But there’s one little thing that holding onto client details gives vendors, which they effectively don’t have any other way… and for that reason, its likely to stay. It may be their only available doorway to coercion, and I’ll talk about it in depth next time.


  1. Chewbacca Of Norway

    This article is well-intentioned but extremely silly. Shaming drug dealers into keeping their behavior on the up and up is a non-starter. What DNMs need is a new technology that will clear up the mess. Well and good to get a smack dealer to see the light on encrypting or deleting a name and address on his hard drive, but it’s sort of like banking on a memo (not a law) from the government saying that they won’t put you in the pokey for growing weed. Nice, but non-binding, hence useless to you in an orange jumpsuit. Tech people need to figure out a way to get product to people without compromising identity before during and after the transaction. Multisig was a great development. Now we need something similar for drug deliveries that protect the recipient’s name and address. Any practical ideas??

    • I was deeply moved by Hoffmann’s impassioned plea to meth kingpins to do the right thing. We could hardly expect less from a legal eagle of his caliber. However, it is plain we need a trustless system at every level. And, pace, Hoffmann, not rely on the good graces of our dealer-benefactors. So on a practical level a system needs to be devised where the dealer DOES NOT HAVE the client’s name or address. How? It would be easy to change the current set up into some type of multisig arrangement:the client could give his name and address to some type of encrypted program which would then contact and pay the dealer anonymously. The difficult part,(the devil likes details)is how, then, would the product reach the client? You’re laughing now, but you know it makes sense. Got to it, boys!

      • Voice of Reason

        Hello friendly Natzi,

        There is a reason why the US and many other governments are tripping over themselves to over regulate drones. Soon enough drones will be treated like guns, write down what I say here.

        A team of guys would own drones and do the distribution for darkmarkets. It could be another specialized service. A network of distributors like post offices.

        However, losing a drone for a pound of cocaine could be worth it, losing a drone for a few joints of pot isn’t.

        So, the broke, poorfag will have to go back to order from the post office or on the street. Because a drone license will cost more than the drone itself.

        • Cal Hervetes PhD.

          I love the idea of drone delivery of cannabis to your doorstep. Can’t believe it’s not already happening! Seriously, good idea. Drone delivery, could be the magic bullet to trustless services.

        • I already envisage “disposable drones”. Talked to a street corner shaman who thinks one day the Chinese will use swarms of poison dart drones to take over the Americas. . .
          Yeah, disposable drones: made out of paper or cardboard, a few cents worth of microcircuitry and volà.

          • Voice of Reason

            I think disposable drones could be used in an urban environment to travel a few blocks away, but that won’t substitute the current postal service which permits someone to receive in Jew York what was stored in San Diego.

            I envisage drones capable of cross country trips on a gallon of fuel to carry a pound of product and using drop places nearby the buyer home.

            Say, one lives in Springfield and wants to buy a product. He tells he can pick up the product anywhere 50 miles radius around Springfield. Then the drone operator programs the drone and finds a drop place within that circle, near a road, under a bridge, in a trash can, behind a tree.

            When the package is dropped, the operator informs the buyer the exact coordinate where the product is. The buyer proceeds to pickup.

            Where that idea fails? Drones will have to use radio beacons turned on all the time informing who their owner is and what the drone is doing. Same thing that is currently mandatory for airplanes and helicopters.

            Tokyo prefecture is currently implementing a program to make fly big drones over the city that will cast nets to trap “irregular” drones.

            So, if you want to implement this service, there is already a bureaucratic maze to navigate and a target painted on your drones.

            The ideal situation would be to use drones which look and act like birds. But such technology is still some 20 years away.

            • Nisbit Tupac Sharon

              “The ideal situation would be to use drones which look and act like birds.”

              A stork delivering a baby could actually be a drone delivering a few pounds of MDMA.

  2. Holding onto client data is 1 thing. Doxing someone is entirely different. The scumbag to which the author referred to is ACE of thescurvycrew. That piece of shit doxxed a disgruntled buyer. That is a violation of the golden rule. Doxxing is strictly forbidden. That low life junky is still vending on several markets despite his pathetic nostalgia plea article where he declared his end to vending. Nobody should give that spaniard douche business.

  3. Let’s be a little realistic here. I’m going to put myself in the scenario of a darknet market vendor…
    I would klogs of EVERY SINGLE PERSON i sold to. If/When i get caught i want to have as much information for sale as possible!
    Any sensible vendor who sells on the darknet would gather every single bit of info and keep it safe for the day the wheels come off.
    Anybody who buys from dark markets should do so under the full understanding that the details they give to a vendor are compromised from the start.
    Any vendor who didn’t keep records would be more than stupid. You really think any vendor is going to do time for you? Think on.

    • Voice of Reason

      Mr. Realitycheck,

      I think you overestimate the possibility of trading your customers’ data for freedom.

      For once, if authorities can get their hands on your data without asking your permission, they will use it against you as proof that you are big drug mafia lord kike aloha snackbar nigga.

      The only way to trade such data, is if you are not caught with it and you should collaborate extensively to gather it, then you become a Sabu-like traitor and that will buy you freedom after a time of slavery to the cops. But Sabu is an isolated and rare case, he belongs to the 1% of criminals that the government is willing to trade with because of circumstances.

      I don’t sell stuff, but if I did, I would keep as little data about my trade with me as possible. No data means no evidence thus, little sentence. Imagine you being found with a pound of cocaine and a pound of cocaine and a notebook filled with addresses, names, goods and prices. Which is the most damning evidence to a court?

      I would buy gold and bury it in a forest far away from home while I still had time, to then enjoy the money after I got eventually freed.

      If you keep data, that will come back to bite you badly.

    • realitycheck is scum

      RealityCheck you are the scum of the earth and do not belong on the dark net.

  4. Completing what I said, you Mr. Realitycheck, sounds like a cop wanting people to keep evidence.

    Do you know what got DPR two life sentences? His diary, his emails, his fucking laptop opened in a public library. Otherwise the cops would barely have anything to put him behind bars.

    Even DPR’s initial security slips would only earn him a few years if that much, but he kept too much evidence on himself while dreaming one day to be American Idol style personality. His story that he was lured back would have stuck if that was the only evidence. lol

    Don’t keep evidence and don’t do your stuff in a public library. Go find a cornered place where you can use borrowed wifi alone and put a bell on every door and window to make a racket when someone opens it up.

    If you are earning a lot of cash, move places every few weeks or live in hotels under fake identities. That’s a little price to pay in order to stay free for the rest of your life when you have got enough money to live well until you die.

    You don’t need to drill the hotel window to put a bell on it, use a sucking cup. lol

  5. Deep dot web, can you justify keeping Hoffman writing his completely useless bloviations for you? Hell no you can’t!

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