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News Link • Drug War

An Interview With Darkside, Russia's Favorite Dark Web Drug Lord

•, By Andy Greenberg

 It's outlived both the Silk Road and Silk Road 2. And third, there's the unusual figure behind it: A chatty, no-nonsense drug lord who goes by the name of Darkside.

Darkside has run RAMP, or the Russian Anonymous Marketplace, since September of 2012, laying down strict rules for the site's 14,000 active buyers and sellers, along with a handful of moderators who seem to work under his or her employment. RAMP's kingpin has closely guarded his real identity, including even gender, though his RAMP forum avatar of Edward Norton's character from Fight Club suggests he's male. He lists his location only as "a galaxy far, far away."

But Darkside nonetheless agreed to an interview with WIRED, conducted over RAMP's private messaging system and protected by the anonymity software Tor. And in nearly perfect English (with some grammar mistakes corrected below) the Russian don of the Dark Web shared details of RAMP's business ranging from its total revenue, to its plans for expansion, to how he believes it's managed to stay online so much longer than the Western competition.

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