This a post in series of posts describing a personal experience from learning about the DNM’s to becoming a vendor – all the parts of this series will be available to here: ExperienceTag
One of my good friends – referred to as Grandi throughout the entirety of this column – was pestering me about a gap in the services offered on the DarkNet I could fill. He told me there were no real standouts freelance writing. I’ve known Grandi for a long time, and I trusted him to know my abilities. Until now I did not think there was much of a niche for someone with my skill set to fill on the DarkNet. I had heard many friends and acquaintances talk about it and seen results on both sides; I’ve known and worked with both vendors and buyers. I knew there was opportunity to be had but didn’t think that it was opportunity for me.
To be completely honest I have been resisting the electronic encryption move for a long time. My mindset has been to eliminate my connections to the electronic world as opposed to adapting them – not using phones for anything sensitive and certainly not e-mail or The truth is that Big Brother is watching and isn’t going anywhere. The truth is that he is getting bigger and badder. The truth is that we as concerned citizens need to take measures to protect our privacy.
I realize this now. Grandi has been pushing me to take up the security cause for a long time. He is a huge proponent of a citizen’s right to privacy and has a passion for sticking it to Big Brother. I talked to him about some of the stuff that I would need to get started.
TAILS (The Amnesiac Incognito Live System) is a live OS tailored to anonymity and security. The operating system can be installed and run from portable media – a usb stick, an SD card or a DVD. TAILS is already set up to use the TOR network and to facilitate anonymous communication. These are its main advantages compared to other operating systems – it can be deployed and used anywhere and it is already configured to allow for anonymity and security.
PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is a encryption system that uses public and private keys. Encrypted and secure communication is an important part of operating a vendor or buyer account on the DarkNet. There are many resources online to get started with PGP encryption for your email communication. The software needed is included with TAILS and is also integrated in many of the software applications that come pre-loaded with TAILS.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that allows users to make and receive payments anonymously. The new currency (conceived and implemented in 2008 and 2009, respectively) uses a peer-to-peer, decentralized system. It is the flagship currency of the DarkNet. While there are many other cryptocurrencies Bitcoin remains the most commonly used and the second most valuable.
There are a number of DarkNet Marketplaces open for business. I turned to Grandi for some advice on what marketplaces he thought my skills would be the most welcome on. He pointed me toward two of the largest and most trusted markets: Agora Marketplace and The Marketplace. Both require referrals to sign up as vendor and buyer, and between them they offer two types of transaction options.
To start offering my services as a freelance writer on the DarkNet marketplaces, I’m going to need a few basic things in a certain order:
- A live OS that emphasizes anonymity and security
- Public and private PGP keys
- An understanding of cryptocurrency
- Vendor account on a Darknet marketplace
Between Grandi’s advice and Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners I have two great resources to get started obtaining these four things.