Below is a callout to DNM vendors to share their views about DNMs and the perceptions of others about what you do. I know some of the independent researchers involved in this initiative personally, the others by reputation, and they have my full confidence that they will pull out all the stops to maintain confidentiality and integrity of their sources. They are people I admire in the field of drug policy and harm reduction research.
Obviously with everything that’s been going on in the DNMs of late, most would be understandably reticent in coming forward, and certainly if you have any questions about your own opsec abilities you probably should stay away. But if you are a vendor who is truly committed to harm reduction and fighting the War on Drugs, I urge you to look at their previous publications and consider getting in touch with the researchers via the means at the bottom of the callout.
Do you sell drugs online?
Are you interested in sharing your views about online drug trading, the darknet community, and what law enforcement and the media are saying about you?
If yes, then we are interested in talking to you!
We are a team of independent university researchers conducting anonymised interviews with people who sell drugs on the darknet.
We have safeguards in place – that we are happy to have reviewed – to ensure your complete anonymity should you be interested in being interviewed. Our research team has an established track record of researching and publishing both online and offline drug trading. Links to our research profiles and previous publications are linked with our names below.
The purpose of the study is to shed some light on how people involved think about the risks, benefits and social impact of online drug trading. At present, much of the public commentary surrounding this issue is sensationalist and reactionary, and we hope to provide some more balanced and informed perspectives regarding the motivations and experiences of people who are actually involved in this line of work.
All interviews are strictly anonymous and conducted using whichever preferred encrypted chat program you prefer from the following: XMPP with OTR or Wickr. We highly suggest using the most secure means as possible and TAILS comes equipped with Pidgin, XMPP and OTR. Should you have another preferred means of communication (e.g. Signal, Telegram, Ricochet) we are happy to use these.
Interview questions will be themed around how you got into online drug trading and how you think about the various risks and rewards associated with this activity. We are also interested in discussing how you perceive the darknet community, the role of the media in reporting on darknet markets, the impact of exit scams and policing operations, as well as the social and political implications of online drug trading.
Answering any of the questions is totally voluntary and you will have the option to withdraw from the study at any stage. Also, we appreciate that your time is valuable and would like to offer a reciprocity payment of $40 to cover any expenses, payable to either you in BTC or to the charity of your choice.
We look forward to sharing our findings with the community and will make them available upon completion of the study.
Thank you for considering our request, and we hope we can speak with you soon!
You can reach us using the profiles listed below. The profiles and accounts below are only accessed by us through TAILS. Should you wish to use another method than XMPP we can exchange contact information and plan the practical details over forum private messages through The Hub or email. Our public PGP key is found below.
EDIT: I could not for the life of me get WordPress to format the PGP message – please see comment by one of the researchers, Rasmus, below for PGP details