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Comment: Translation (Score 5, Informative) 83

by sandertje (#46234601) Attached to: Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

For those not able to understand Dutch, I'll translate the message by the public prosecution.

"In an investigation to criminal market places on the internet, the police arrest 5 men - among which a convicted criminal - on Tuesday. On anonymous, deeply hidden websites drugs and weapons were offered. With permission of the public prosecution undercover agents bought drugs and fire arms on multiple occasions during the past few months. They also received an advance payment for a contract murder.

The police arrested two men aged 30 and 31 in Enschede [city near the German border], who are suspect of drug and weapon trade on illegal online market places. It concerns Black Market Reloaded and Utopia, Tor websites which were most likely involved in the illicit market places.

Black Market Reloaded went offline at the end of last year, after a surge of visitors. This sudden surge arose when the FBI took down Silk Road - one of Black Market Reloaded's largest competitors - and arrested its owner in October.

The Dutch suspects maintained an own illicit market place under the name Utopia. The servers on which this website ran have been found in the German cities of Bochum and Düsseldorf, and were seized yesterday. After taking down the website, the police left a note that the hidden service had been seized by police.

Upon request of the Public Prosecution [NL], the Bundeskriminalamt [German] arrested a 21 year old man on Tuesday who is suspected of trade in drugs and weaponry. The man presumably offered not only hard drugs [Dutch law makes a distinction between semi-legal 'soft' drugs (marijuana and mushrooms) and entirely illegal 'hard' drugs], but also offered munition and stolen credit cards for sale.

A 46-year old fellow suspect was already arrested in October 2013 when he was en route to Germany with 1.5 kilograms of marijuana, over 40 grams of cocaine, three kilograms of amphetamine and 1.5 kilograms of XTC pills. The man has been arrested again in his cell today, now for involvement in the illicit online trade and evoking murder.

The police investigation under codename Commodore was started in early 2013 on account of signals about drug trade on internet via anonymous, deeply hidden websites. There would be large scale trade in drugs and other illegal goods and services. Drugs could be ordered through these websites, and were subsequently send and delivered world-wide by post.

The Tor network allows one to surf anonymously on the internet without leaving a trail. Illegal market places within the Tor environment make it possible to acquire illegal goods, services and information. Through the use of Tor it is furthermore difficult to determine the physical location of the web servers.

The illegal and accessible character of these websites with digital payments in bitcoin makes them societally unwanted and a severe disruption of the rule of law. The Commodore investigation gives a clear signal to those who wish to conduct crimes within digital anonymity. The investigation and prosecution of these crimes have high priority for the police and Public Prosection.

The police made contact with the suspects through undercover agents. The agents bought drugs and fire arms with ease. It concerns several thousands of XTC pills, raw blocks of MDMA and tens of grams of cocaine. The undercover agents were offered to buy several kilograms of cocaine.

To the dismay of the police and Public Prosecution, the undercover agents were also requested to "bring someone to the other world". The target would be extorted and subsequently killed. The contact led to a physical meeting, where an advance payment was made.

During the search of the residences of the suspects, computers, storage devices such as hard disks and usb drives, and 900 bitcoin worth approximately 400,000 to 600,000 euros, have been seized. The in the Netherlands arrested suspects are being brought to court on Friday. The Public Prosecution has requested the extradition of the German suspect."

Comment: Re:From the courtroom (Score 1) 261

by sandertje (#46209425) Attached to: German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

You are implying that everyone on /. is either American or German? Now that's a wild assumption. I think you forgot that there are approximately 195 other nations on this planet, a sizable fraction of which have sizable populations able to converse in English (albeit perhaps with some mistakes, which I'm SURE native speakers also do).

Comment: Re:Labview (Score 1) 876

by sandertje (#46201977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?
I was once forced to do a project in Labview. The end result: spaghetti-code. Making code that someone else will be able to understand in Labview is nigh impossible. Wires, boxes everywhere. Any attempt to understand the application logic will result in having to trace spaghetti across your screen.

Comment: Re:Why unlikely? (Score 2) 84

The article on Medium says the following: There was a time when astronomers would have immediately ruled out this possibility as well. But last year, astrophysicists calculated that sun-like stars can produce superflares of this size about once every 3000 years. There are certainly hints in medieval texts that something interesting occurred in the atmosphere at that time. Which would hint at that the Sun is most likely indeed the culprit.

Never trust a computer you can't repair yourself.