#076: How Eileen Ormsby unpacked the Darkest Web

By Jordan Michaelides
July 24, 2018

Eileen 1

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Eileen Ormsby ( @EileenOrmsby ) is a writer, journalist and blogger of All Things Vice, as well as an author of two books - The Silk Road and The Darkest Web.

Every time I’ve sat down with professors and practitioners of sociology (Dr Monica Barratt), psychology (Dr Stephen Bright), or criminology (Dr James Martin) to talk about the Dark Web, one name kept recurring - Eileen Ormsby. She is undoubtedly the most sighted journalist in the field today, and we’re very lucky to have her living here in Australia.

The Dark Web is a fascinating place, mostly filled with scams, but also filled with people on the edge of the law and morality. The Gonzo style of journalism that Eileen embodies, challenges society on what should be right or wrong, showing the human side to every case and exploration.

This is a captivating discussion in which we cover:

  • Silk Road, The Dark Web and its marketplaces

  • Data privacy

  • Harm reduction and drug policy

  • Hitmen, hackers and scams

  • Cybercrime, and protecting yourself

  • Creative writing and true crime

Enjoy the episode!


01:14 - Introduction

03:47 - “Come On, Eileen”

04:11 - The impact of the GFC on her

05:16 - Initial interest in the dark web

10:23 - Career background and writing

11:45 - Lessons learnt from her parents

13:55 - The importance of data privacy

17:45 - Reporting on dark net platforms

20:24 - Harm reduction and drug policy

28:04 - Living off-the-grid, introversion

29:57 - Dark net marketplaces

32:54 - Hitmen, hackers, and scams

36:00 - Cybercrime, protecting yourself

38:23 - The backdoor to Besa Mafia

42:17 - Casefile: Amy Allwine

44:13 - Assassination politics

46:30 - Dark web resources

48:22 - PGP encryption, Cicada 3301

50:30 - Chloe Ayling and kidnapping

53:17 - Creative writing and true crime

56:14 - Education over prohibition

58:29 - Trust, and the state of the dark web

59:47 - Daily routine

01:02:05 - What seems obvious to her, but not to others