DiscoverNote to SelfIs the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?
Is the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?

Is the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?

Update: 2018-04-1823


The Dark Web conjures images of gothic fonts and black backgrounds, like a metal fan’s MySpace page circa 2001. But this section of the internet looks surprisingly normal. Accessible only through the TOR browser, there are Google-style search engines and Amazon-style marketplaces. Except what they’re selling are mostly illegal things—stolen passports, hacked account numbers, and drugs. A lot of drugs.

This week, we stress out WNYC’S IT department and venture onto the Dark Web. Where you can get heroin, fentanyl, or oxycontin shipped right to your door via USPS. And we talk to Nick Bilton, author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, about how Libertarian philosophy and tech-bro hubris combined to spark an online drug revolution—and an opioid crisis.

And the Dark Web community is starting to recognize the role they're playing. Since we recorded this episode, Hansa Market - the very site we visit in the show - has banned the sale of fentanyl, according to the New York Times. 

Comments (3)

Frank Davis

The U.S. military has occupied Afghanistan since 2003. In 2003 Afghanistan was producing only 4% of the opium in the world, and today they produce an incredible 90%. To be clear, out of all the opium in the world today 90% of it comes from poppy plants grown in Afghanistan. This huge increase in production happened over the past 17 years while the US military has been there. I'm not saying that our military presence there is or is not causal because that is a deep rabbit hole for another day. I am just saying I think it's something very important to consider in the quest for a solution to the opioid epidemic. And hardly anyone knows or talks about it.

Apr 21st
Reply (1)

Jon Gose

a little more about your mailman being your drug dealer is a Mitch hedburg joke,that author needs to recognize that

Apr 18th
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Is the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?

Is the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?

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