Illegal machinations in the internet have long been a cause of concern for authorities across the world. Recently, studies conducted in Australia and those by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have shed light on the dark underbelly of online illegal activities. These studies have revealed the extent of the troubles posed by the internet and the need for more robust measures to counter them.
The internet has become a breeding ground for illegal activities like the sale of illegal drugs, weapons, and counterfeit goods. One of the most concerning issues is the prevalence of online doping. According to the WADA study, there has been a sharp increase in the number of websites that advertise and sell performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). These websites often operate from locations with limited regulatory measures, making it challenging to monitor and take legal action.
The consequences of using PEDs are severe and can have long-lasting effects on health. Surprisingly, many athletes knowingly take the risk and turn to PEDs to enhance their performance. Access to PEDs has become more accessible with online platforms providing a convenient and relatively safe way of obtaining them. Similarly, drug dealers and manufacturers have turned to the internet as an easy way to sell their products.
In Australia, researchers investigating online illegal activities found that consumers of these illicit products often engage in online communities where they share information on the latest supply sources and methods of use. These communities allow the illegal activity to continue undetected, and the fact that users feel comfortable sharing information indicates a lack of fear in getting caught.
Measures to counter online illegal activities have been slow to materialize, with regulatory frameworks struggling to keep up with technological advancements. However, efforts to curb the sale of PEDs and other illicit products are slowly making headway. Aside from increasing public awareness on the dangers of using them, institutions have adopted new technologies like blockchain to detect suspicious online activities.
The blockchain technology can provide a secure and transparent platform for tracking and monitoring online transactions. It records every transaction in a distributed and decentralized system that cannot be easily tampered with, ensuring that drugs and other illicit products are traced back to the source. This would make it easier for regulatory authorities to take action and prevent further sales of these illegal products.
In conclusion, online illegal activities continue to pose a significant problem, driven by the easy availability and anonymity offered by the internet. The WADA and Australian studies have shown the need for more stringent measures to curb the sale and use of PEDs and other illegal products online. The adoption of new technologies like blockchain will prove essential in the fight to make the internet safer and more secure. However, these measures only scratch the surface of the issue, and it remains to be seen whether they will significantly address the problem.