All Things Being Equal...

What happens when a government - especially the government of the United States - finds itself in an arena where its power is not absolute?

In brief, there are certain websites that operate in a hidden mode, allowing users and operators near-anonymity and the ability - until recently - to operate beyond the reach of law enforcement and government regulation.  Not surprisingly, many sites on this "Dark Net" were involved in illicit activities, including cybercrime, the sharing of others' personal data, and other offenses.

Many of those "Dark Net" sites were recently shut down in a surprise raid by U.S. and E.U. law enforcement agencies, with physical arrests, seizures of computer hardware and confiscation of various currencies.  Many sites were "virtually seized" as well, with control being taken by law enforcement and the sites' landing pages were replaced with notices such as this:

This is where things take a surprising turn.  One of those "seized" sites, "Doxbin," has since been re-seized by hackers.  The site is now fully operational again and has posted links to other non-seized sites as well, in anticipation of a tug-o'-war for administrative control.

While criminal activities harmful to others should not be condoned, it will be interesting to see what happens when a government used to having a near-monopoly on force is faced with active resistance by an opponent with equal skill and resources.

Read the full story here.