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The Darknet-shopping robot has been released by Swiss police


After spending a couple months in Swiss robot prison, the Random Darknet Shopper (RDS) is once again free to purchase random goods from the deepest corners of the Internet. The robot, originally designed as an art installation, was built to navigate the Darknet and autonomously purchase goods using Bitcoin currency. During its three-month run at Kunst Halle St Gallen art gallery in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the Shopper made a variety of purchases, most of which were completely legal. It did, however, also purchase 10 tabs of ecstasy from online retailer Agora, which is what instigated the authorities to step in. The cops confiscated the machine and the Molly. They also threatened the RDS' creators with legal action. However, a panel of judges ruled in favor of the artists, known as the Mediengruppe Bitnik.

"In the order for withdrawal of prosecution the public prosecutor states that the possession of Ecstasy was indeed a reasonable means for the purpose of sparking public debate about questions related to the exhibition," the duo recently wrote on their website. "The public prosecution also asserts that the over-weighing interest in the questions raised by the artwork «Random Darknet Shopper» justify the exhibition of the drugs as artefacts, even if the exhibition does hold a small risk of endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited."

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