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The dark net has a long and storied history of combating drug harm with education.
The A-Clinic Foundation is a charity specializing in treatment, rehabilitation, and substance abuse prevention to help cut the harm that can be caused to individuals and families by drug abuse.
A-Clinic is launching a two-year project called “Muunto” (Transformation) that will offer anonymous contact with experts on addiction.
This harm reduction service is following in the footsteps of the first dark net market, Silk Road, that paid a Spanish doctor $500 per week to provide medical advice to users—even if that advice was to quit using drugs.
Dr. Fernando Caudevilla, known as Dr. X, became an icon on the dark net and beyond for his popular service.
“He’s amazing. A gift to this community,” one user wrote about Dr. X on the Silk Road 2.0 forum. “His knowledge is invaluable, and never comes with any judgment.”
Once Silk Road was shut down, however, he became a target of ire for presiding U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest who called Dr. X “particularly despicable” and “irresponsible.”
While Dr. X was one health care professional secretly taking money from Silk Road, the A-Clinic Foundation is a registered charity employing teams of experts on addiction that publicly announced plans to carry out this project for two full years.
“Our presence online is in no way paternalistic or keeping watch,” project coordinator Miina Kajos told YLE. “As far as possible we try and approach people as equals, and as a result we’ve had very positive interactions so far.”
Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.