Illicit drugs: They're not for winners at coin-op arcades, according to former FBI director William Sessions. Members of Instagram's still thriving drug trade should take note. Dealing drugs illegally is also frowned upon, but technology has never made it easier or safer than it does on Instagram right now.

As you might be aware, Instagram has had a serious black market problem for at least a year now. Half-hearted efforts have been made to curb the problem; Certain hashtags have been banned, but the beautiful plasticity of the American Idiom has consistently outsmarted the photo-sharing service—presuming, of course, that you really believe Instagram gives a shit. The app's community guidelines threaten nothing more than a slap on the wrist and pretty much advertise weak oversight: If someone reports your account for conducting illegal activities, your account "may be disabled" and Instagram "will take appropriate action, which may include reporting you to the authorities."

Goodness gracious.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your own moral cosmology), it is incredibly, incredibly easy to buy and sell drugs anonymously on Instagram.

This week at Venture Beat, Fletcher Babb had a frank confidential education in best practices for the Instagram drug trade. Here's what one would hypothetically need to get themselves set up:

A source with direct knowledge of Instagram's drug trade sent me a document that lays out the process to circumvent the app's mobile-only posting restrictions. It's deceptively simple. It's also perfectly legal (except for the actual "selling drugs" part).

1. Start with a new laptop. Cheap is fine.

2. Install and run Ubuntu.

3. Install VirtualBox, which lets you use a "guest" OS in a window inside your computer's main OS without making it vulnerable. This sandbox environment is generally used for safely testing apps and software or running old software that isn't supported by a current OS.

4. Download and run an Android OS emulator in VirtualBox. We won't link directly to that part, but essentially you'll end up with an Android OS running in a window inside your Linux system.

5. Download a VPN. At approximately $50, an annual subscription is a steal, especially if you'd like to safely sell drugs directly to Instagram's massive audience.

6. Inside the Android emulator, connect to the Internet via the VPN.

7. Use the emulator to download the Instagram app.

That's it.

From there, you can chose to deal with customers via a purely anonymous Kik or Google Voice account. You can handle payments with pre-paid credit cards, bitcoin, or one of the many other lesser crypto-currencies.

The Coalition Against Drug Abuse has even done you the favor of conducting research into some of the most commonly used hashtags "in the biz" right now:

It's very tempting.

The economy's still pretty rough. We've all been there.


[screencaptures by author, because it's really that easy to find drugs on Instagram; h/t the grugq]

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