Remaining anonymous on the Internet is quite a challenge. A lot of people assume using a VPN or Tor is more than sufficient, but it looks like additional measures will be warranted in the future. New Zealand law enforcement agents identified nearly 300 darknet users during Operation Hyperion. Over half of those people have already been questioned, and several arrests were made.

More Concerns For Deep Web Users In New Zealand

After the recent issues for darknet users in Germany, it was only a matter of time until other countries would be affected as well. New Zealand is becoming a booming nation of deep web usage, which causes concerns for law enforcement officials. During the recent Operation Hyperion initiative, several hundred darknet users were identified.

By prioritizing the screening of packages, customs officials found multiple shipments of narcotics and other illegal substances. They also managed to identify sellers and buyers based on the shipping information. Among the drugs seized are the usual suspects including LSD, cannabis seeds, heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.

What is rather intriguing is how a total of six arrests have been made already. One of those arrested individuals is charged with over a dozen charges for importing narcotics, ranging from cannabis to LSD and ecstasy. A total of 66 “formal warnings” were handed out as well, putting these specific deep web users on the watch list.

Additionally, a total of 160 individuals has been spoken to by law enforcement officials all over the country. The remaining users are either part of a larger investigation or have yet to receive a police visit. One of the people arrested is the individual running the Vic Underworld marketplace, which we reported on yesterday afternoon.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website states the following:

“Operation Hyperion was initiated by U.S. federal law enforcement, the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) and members of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, as the first step in developing a more unified global law enforcement response to the growing usage of the Darknet by individuals seeking to buy and sell illicit drugs and other illegal goods and services.”

Despite narcotics being the primary target of this investigation, New Zealand darknet users are also showing an interest in weapons and stolen financial credentials. Anything to make a quick buck is more than welcome in the criminal circuit, and drug trades are the least of concerns right now.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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