Now, over a year since that contraband bazaar was seized by the FBI, Schumer seems to have discovered that the dark web drug trade didn't simply end with Silk Road's demise—and he's not happy about it.
In an open letter published Monday, Schumer called on Attorney General Eric Holder to renew the Justice Department's pursuit of illegal drug sellers whose business has thrived on the anonymous Internet. He cited a report from his local Long Island newspaper Newsday that counted 40,000 listings for illegal drugs on the dark web—the anonymous portion of the Internet obscured by software like Tor and I2p—compared with just 20,000 a year earlier. (In fact, a report two months ago from the non-profit Digital Citizens Alliance puts the number even higher, at 47,000.) In his letter, Schumer asks Holder to "conduct a comprehensive review of federal efforts to address the expansion of narcotics trafficking on the internet."
"Over the last several years, we have seen a treacherous and rapidly growing avenue develop for criminals to carry out illicit activities," Schumer's letter reads. "Though the internet has become essential to many Americans' day-to-day lives, it has also helped to facilitate an illegal market for dangerous narcotics including prescription drugs, cocaine, and even heroin.