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Media Crime

TV Journalists Try Buying AK-47 On Dark Web, Fail ( 88

An anonymous reader writes: "It was supposed to be a great story about terrorism, uncertainty and the evils of the DarkNet," writes Deep Dot Web, describing an investigative report titled "Fear of Terror -- How Endangered is Germany?" After interviewing security experts, federal investigators, and a survivor of the Paris terrorist attack, a TV news crew in Germany attempted to buy an AK-47 on the dark web -- only to be scammed out of $800. "If he had done a little research he could have known that most weapon dealers on the DarkNet are actually scams," the article points out, adding that German customs officers say they would have intercepted any AK-47 had a delivery been attempted.
Motherboard reported in November that the high number of scams -- some of which are undercover agents -- prompted several dark web markets to stop offering guns altogether, though they suggest the German news crew was trying to recreate the purchases of "disabled" weapons which were then converted back into their original form.
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TV Journalists Try Buying AK-47 On Dark Web, Fail

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They think it's real and try the same thing. What fucking kind of dumbasses are pretending to be "journalists" these days? The white house guy is right, they don't know anything. They're like puppies...

  • by habig ( 12787 ) on Saturday May 21, 2016 @01:44PM (#52155913) Homepage

    A similar meme here in the US: "you can buy a gun on the web without a background check! The horror. Must close that loophole."

    Any journalists trying to do this for a story would quickly realize that only is possible if buyer and seller are able/willing to meet physically, otherwise the act of shipping the firearm, which must go through a licensed dealer, gets backgrounds checked. And a physical meetup between individuals is pretty hard to regulate with or without an internet.

    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Saturday May 21, 2016 @02:02PM (#52155989)

      And if they would stop and THINK for a moment they'd understand WHY.

      The person willing to sell the weapon IN VIOLATION OF MANY FEDERAL LAWS (in the USofA) understands that he will ... probably ... be selling to someone LESS inclined to break those laws.

      So WHY would the seller be inclined to take that risk for $800? Does he plan to make enough profit in volume? Repeat customers? Or does he just like the idea of spending time in prison?

      This reads like "journalists" who spend too much time watching TV and movies.

    • And a physical meetup between individuals is pretty hard to regulate with or without an internet.

      And even harder to regulate when one of those people has a gun
      Seems likely a risky move to take some cash to a meet up with a stranger who you know will be bringing a gun.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First off, what kind of moron would pay $800 for an AK? You can get a MUCH nicer rifle for $800.

    • Re:Ripoff (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 21, 2016 @01:51PM (#52155941)

      See this handy chart:

    • The kind of moron who feels the need to purchase an untraceable weapon will pay a premium for some POS that can't be tied to him. Serial number ground away? Good - rifling half shot out? Not a problem. The fancy woodwork needs to go - and I prefer blued steel to any shiny shit. Black anodizing is alright - specially if it's aged. The weapon isn't for show, it's for a mission.

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Buy an 80% complete AR lower. ZERO serial numbers. easy to get all the rest of the parts and brain dead easy make it into a full auto M16.

        Luckily those that want to break the law are usually way too stupid to understand basic machining and tool use and will not be able to complete a functional M16 from parts.

      • by DaHat ( 247651 )

        The kind of moron who feels the need to purchase an untraceable weapon will pay a premium for some POS that can't be tied to him.

        Someone who is unable to pass the required checks to purchase one legally?

        There is a reason straw purchases exist.

        Also, throw down guns. If you are a cop who has just shot someone who turns out to be unarmed, you may find it useful (though very illegal as well) to have a gun which has no paperwork connection to you that you can throw next to the body and claim the prep was going f

      • Serial number ground away? Good.

        If you're buying a gun in an illegal handshake deal, why would you want one with a ground off serial number? It's not traceable to you even with the serial number, and getting caught with a gun with a ground off serial number is a federal offence in and of itself. It seems to me a criminal wouldn't want the serial number ground off unless it had previously been legally purchased by them through a traceable deal and they're also planning to dump the gun.

        • The question that I responded to asked "what kind of moron" - remember?

          A smarter individual might go out and purchase a weapon openly and legally, knowing that he is going to dispose of the weapon anyway. Or - he may not.

          Not every mercenary or assassin is really stupid, nor are all of them really bright. And, there remains an underground market for weapons in various states of legality, modification, and repair.

          Now, if I desperately needed an untraceable weapon, I believe that I would consider burglarizin

    • But an AK is scary. It is the evil gun in movies, the evil gun portrayed by gun control advocates everywhere. And everyone knows there is only one reason to own an AK. That reason is to open beer bottles and beer is bad.

      Seriously. It was for the shock factor of the story. Probably no other considerations went into making the choice.

  • That seems more like a blog story than investigative journalism. "Oh, I tried buying a really bad gun, ubiquitously portrayed in movies as the 'bad guy gun' in private and got scammed, must mean it's impossible to buy guns illegally".

    Do you really think German criminals don't have guns? Do you really think German border checks open every single container, crate or box?

  • Young dumb journalists. A little research would have clued them in to what goes on in legitimate and illegitimate buying of guns.

  • isn't $800 a bit much, a few years ago there were lots of rumors you could buy one around Brussels for less than half of that. I certainly hope they cracked down on illegal arms dealers in the meanwhile.
    • Of course if it were a legal purchase, then paying less would be more likely. Of course the fact that it wasn't so much is a hint that it's a scam. OTOH we may speculate that this was a set up by the media to try to discourage people from buying these things on the net.

      Isn't conspiracy hunting fun ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When producers were making the movie Lord of War, they had a scene in warehouse full of AKs. They had actual arms dealers as consultants for the movie (the story is the biography of a real life arms dealer) and they found out it would be cheaper to buy a warehouse full of real AKs than a warehouse full of replicas.

  • TV Journalists Try Buying AK-47 On Dark Web, Fail

    Yeah, they are teh suxx0rs alright.

  • Come to one of the gun shows here in Arizona you can walk in and buy one quite legally.

  • SO I guess we can just close the book completely on the notion of there being a gun-related problem in the United States. Hooray! The system works! /sarcasm

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nikkos ( 544004 )

      There's a problem all right, but it's not a gun problem. It's a failure to address the real problems (poverty, education, etc), coupled with a 'whitewashing' of the predominate demographic/cultural characteristics of the perpetrators. This is a problem with idiotic Democrats, who seem to think that removing weapons will solve the problem, and this is a problem with Republicans (and Libertarians) that worship rampant capitalism without any checks and balances of social welfare

      The general myth that more guns

  • Fools, money and the separation of the two...

  • "If he had done a little research he could have known that most weapon dealers on the DarkNet are actually scams,"

    Now they can try finding love on Craigslist:

    I'm bored here and my boyfriend is away..

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