An evidence synthesis of strategies, enablers and barriers for keeping secrets online regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs

Aikaterini Grimani (Lead / Corresponding author), Anna Gavine, Wendy Moncur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This systematic review attempts to understand how people keep secrets online, and in particular how people use the internet when engaging in covert behaviours and activities regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs. With the Internet and social media being part of everyday life for most people in western and non-western countries, there are ever-growing opportunities for individuals to engage in covert behaviours and activities online that may be considered illegal or unethical. A search strategy using Medical Subject Headings terms and relevant key words was developed. A comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished studies in electronic databases was conducted. Additional studies were identified from reference lists of previous studies and (systematic) reviews that had similar objectives as this search, and were included if they fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Two researchers independently screened abstracts and full-texts for study eligibility and evaluated the quality of included studies. Disagreements were resolved by a consensus procedure. The systematic review includes 33 qualitative studies and one cross-sectional study, published between 2006 and 2018. Five covert behaviours were identified: the use of communication channels; anonymity; visibility reduction; limited posts in public; following forum rules and recommendations. The same technologies that provide individuals with easy access to information, such as social networking sites and forums, digital devices, digital tools and services, also increase the prevalence of inaccurate information, loss of privacy, identity theft and disinhibited communication. This review takes a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to synthesising knowledge on the strategies adopted by people in keeping secrets online. Whilst the focus is on the procurement and supply of illicit drugs, this knowledge is transferrable to a range of contexts where people keep secrets online. It has particular significance for those who design online/social media applications, and for law enforcement and security agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102621
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume75
Early online date9 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

Social Media
Street Drugs
Internet
Identity Theft
Medical Subject Headings
Social Networking
Law Enforcement
Access to Information
Privacy
Cross-Sectional Studies
Research Personnel
Databases
Technology
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • Illicit drug trade
  • Covert behaviours
  • Social networking sites
  • Digital technologies

Cite this

@article{91d4c33c1ac44d488be4a2b70c7dd243,
title = "An evidence synthesis of strategies, enablers and barriers for keeping secrets online regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs",
abstract = "This systematic review attempts to understand how people keep secrets online, and in particular how people use the internet when engaging in covert behaviours and activities regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs. With the Internet and social media being part of everyday life for most people in western and non-western countries, there are ever-growing opportunities for individuals to engage in covert behaviours and activities online that may be considered illegal or unethical. A search strategy using Medical Subject Headings terms and relevant key words was developed. A comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished studies in electronic databases was conducted. Additional studies were identified from reference lists of previous studies and (systematic) reviews that had similar objectives as this search, and were included if they fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Two researchers independently screened abstracts and full-texts for study eligibility and evaluated the quality of included studies. Disagreements were resolved by a consensus procedure. The systematic review includes 33 qualitative studies and one cross-sectional study, published between 2006 and 2018. Five covert behaviours were identified: the use of communication channels; anonymity; visibility reduction; limited posts in public; following forum rules and recommendations. The same technologies that provide individuals with easy access to information, such as social networking sites and forums, digital devices, digital tools and services, also increase the prevalence of inaccurate information, loss of privacy, identity theft and disinhibited communication. This review takes a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to synthesising knowledge on the strategies adopted by people in keeping secrets online. Whilst the focus is on the procurement and supply of illicit drugs, this knowledge is transferrable to a range of contexts where people keep secrets online. It has particular significance for those who design online/social media applications, and for law enforcement and security agencies.",
keywords = "Illicit drug trade, Covert behaviours, Social networking sites, Digital technologies",
author = "Aikaterini Grimani and Anna Gavine and Wendy Moncur",
note = "This work was supported by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats. ESRC funded project",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102621",
language = "English",
volume = "75",
journal = "International Journal of Drug Policy",
issn = "0955-3959",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

An evidence synthesis of strategies, enablers and barriers for keeping secrets online regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs. / Grimani, Aikaterini (Lead / Corresponding author); Gavine, Anna; Moncur, Wendy.

In: International Journal of Drug Policy, Vol. 75, 102621, 01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - An evidence synthesis of strategies, enablers and barriers for keeping secrets online regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs

AU - Grimani, Aikaterini

AU - Gavine, Anna

AU - Moncur, Wendy

N1 - This work was supported by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats. ESRC funded project

PY - 2020/1

Y1 - 2020/1

N2 - This systematic review attempts to understand how people keep secrets online, and in particular how people use the internet when engaging in covert behaviours and activities regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs. With the Internet and social media being part of everyday life for most people in western and non-western countries, there are ever-growing opportunities for individuals to engage in covert behaviours and activities online that may be considered illegal or unethical. A search strategy using Medical Subject Headings terms and relevant key words was developed. A comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished studies in electronic databases was conducted. Additional studies were identified from reference lists of previous studies and (systematic) reviews that had similar objectives as this search, and were included if they fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Two researchers independently screened abstracts and full-texts for study eligibility and evaluated the quality of included studies. Disagreements were resolved by a consensus procedure. The systematic review includes 33 qualitative studies and one cross-sectional study, published between 2006 and 2018. Five covert behaviours were identified: the use of communication channels; anonymity; visibility reduction; limited posts in public; following forum rules and recommendations. The same technologies that provide individuals with easy access to information, such as social networking sites and forums, digital devices, digital tools and services, also increase the prevalence of inaccurate information, loss of privacy, identity theft and disinhibited communication. This review takes a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to synthesising knowledge on the strategies adopted by people in keeping secrets online. Whilst the focus is on the procurement and supply of illicit drugs, this knowledge is transferrable to a range of contexts where people keep secrets online. It has particular significance for those who design online/social media applications, and for law enforcement and security agencies.

AB - This systematic review attempts to understand how people keep secrets online, and in particular how people use the internet when engaging in covert behaviours and activities regarding the procurement and supply of illicit drugs. With the Internet and social media being part of everyday life for most people in western and non-western countries, there are ever-growing opportunities for individuals to engage in covert behaviours and activities online that may be considered illegal or unethical. A search strategy using Medical Subject Headings terms and relevant key words was developed. A comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished studies in electronic databases was conducted. Additional studies were identified from reference lists of previous studies and (systematic) reviews that had similar objectives as this search, and were included if they fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Two researchers independently screened abstracts and full-texts for study eligibility and evaluated the quality of included studies. Disagreements were resolved by a consensus procedure. The systematic review includes 33 qualitative studies and one cross-sectional study, published between 2006 and 2018. Five covert behaviours were identified: the use of communication channels; anonymity; visibility reduction; limited posts in public; following forum rules and recommendations. The same technologies that provide individuals with easy access to information, such as social networking sites and forums, digital devices, digital tools and services, also increase the prevalence of inaccurate information, loss of privacy, identity theft and disinhibited communication. This review takes a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to synthesising knowledge on the strategies adopted by people in keeping secrets online. Whilst the focus is on the procurement and supply of illicit drugs, this knowledge is transferrable to a range of contexts where people keep secrets online. It has particular significance for those who design online/social media applications, and for law enforcement and security agencies.

KW - Illicit drug trade

KW - Covert behaviours

KW - Social networking sites

KW - Digital technologies

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85076090418&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102621

DO - 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102621

M3 - Article

C2 - 31830617

VL - 75

JO - International Journal of Drug Policy

JF - International Journal of Drug Policy

SN - 0955-3959

M1 - 102621

ER -