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The Silk Road has been razed!

YYW
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10/2/2013 6:29:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com...

The Silk Road Shuts Down, But The Black Market Isn't Going Anywhere
Playing whack-a-mole with black markets is a war nobody ever really wins.

At 3:15PM Tuesday afternoon, the FBI arrested the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts, the operator of online black market site The Silk Road, at a public library in San Francisco.

29-year old Ross William Ulbricht allegedly ran the site, which sold everything from drugs to guns using Bitcoin, a digital currency.

Ulbricht didn"t just operate the site, however. The FBI claims he paid someone 1,670 Bitcoins or around $150,000 to carry out a hit on a Silk Road user threatening to extort him.

The feds also shut down the Silk Road Tuesday, claiming that as much as $1.2B in transactions occurred during the Silk Road"s lifetime. (Though due to Bitcoin"s volatility as a currency that number may be rough.)

The site operated on the Tor Network rather than on the "regular" internet, allowing users and their transactions some level of anonymity"though as FORBES discovered, even a simple purchase of marijuana can be traced.

Andy Greenberg has done some truly outstanding reporting on the Dread Pirate Roberts and the Silk Road, tracking down DPR and interviewing him for FORBES"the only major interview of the man prior to his arrest.

Ulbricht will likely be seen by many as a hero of sorts"a modern day techno-Galt, proudly defying the a tyrannical government.

"What we"re doing isn"t about scoring drugs or "sticking it to the man." It"s about standing up for our rights as human beings and refusing to submit when we"ve done no wrong," he told Greenberg.

Then again, if allegations of planning a hit on someone are true, this sort of political martyrdom may be harder to sell. And really, it is about scoring drugs. Standing up for human rights can take all sorts of shapes, from being a whistle-blower on the NSA to peaceful marches, but selling potentially lethal substances like heroin and facilitating the sale of illegal weapons is hardly the most noble of enterprises.

Still, the fact remains that the Silk Road served an essential economic function: It offered a supply for a very real demand. The Silk Road was an illicit eBay, a peer-to-peer black market well suited to the digital age. So well suited, I"d argue, that shutting it down will be little more than a temporary setback.

The FBI can arrest drug dealers, gun dealers, and hackers all they like. but the black market will remain. It"s like Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. So long as there"s a demand for the goods these sites provide, there will be someone willing to risk life and freedom to provide a supply.

More importantly, the failures of the Silk Road and its operator(s) to remain truly anonymous will serve as cautionary tales for the next digital black market. Whoever comes after will be smarter and more careful"or rather, at some point someone smarter and more careful and more tech savvy will begin providing this service. And when they"re caught, someone else will fill the void.

Just because Gus Fring was taken out, the flow of crystal meth to the Southwest didn"t dry up, if you"ll forgive a Breaking Bad reference in your real-world news.

A demand for illegal drugs, weapons and other illicit goods remains whether or not the Silk Road is shut down. Even if the War on Drugs were to end tomorrow, there would still be a black market for something else. And the internet is the new battleground.

Of course, if the War on Drugs ended tomorrow valuable resources could be devoted to other crimes: gun trafficking, people trafficking, terrorism. I don"t think anarchy is a viable option, and without an anarchic system of governments, black markets will always exist. But we can at least determine which are a priority and which are a waste of resources.

Perhaps just as importantly, ending the War on Drugs would take a multi-billion dollar industry away from dangerous criminals, reducing both violence and lost tax revenues, not to mention freeing up prison cells and reducing the cost of the prison population to the American taxpayer.

Valuable resources could be diverted to treatment programs for addicts"programs that might actually get some results rather than simply recycling addicts through the prison system.

Until that time, the government will simply have to play whack-a-mole with sites like the Silk Road. It"s a high-tech arms race that nobody ever truly wins. The Dread Pirate Roberts may be in custody, but just like his fictional counterpart, he won"t be the last.
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Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,375
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10/2/2013 6:30:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Dread Pirate Roberts Arrested!

http://www.forbes.com...

Forbes:

Feds Say They've Arrested 'Dread Pirate Roberts,' Shut Down His Black Market 'The Silk Road'

Silk Road, shut down by the feds even during a fed shut down. (Credit: Krebs on Security)

Even during a federal government shutdown, drug pirates aren"t safe. Popular online black market Silk Road has been shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an individual alleged to be its infamous owner, "Dread Pirate Roberts," has been arrested, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint.

Ross William Ulbricht, allegedly the "Dread Pirate Roberts" owner of Silk Road, was arrested in San Francisco on Tues. at 3:15pm PT at a public library and his popular site shut down.

Ulbricht, the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts, from his Google+ account.

Krebs on Security uploaded a photo of Silk Road apparently shut down by an FBI raid and has since published the full government complaint. It alleges that Ulbricht is the mastermind behind the Silk Road, and the "DPR" behind its booming marketplace of activity for narcotics and other illicit goods, the most famous use of the open-source electronic money known as Bitcoin.

The FBI calls Silk Road in the complaint "the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today," used by several thousand drug dealers and with revenue of over 9.5 million Bitcoins to date, which the FBI approximates as worth $1.2 billion in sales. (Bitcoin values fluctuate widely over time, making any comparison difficult.)

Ulbricht has been charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. In perhaps the most surprising instance in the FBI complaint, the government alleges that DPR even used his site to try to arrange an assassination.

Ulbricht allegedly paid a bounty of 1,670 Bitcoins, about $150,000, to put out a murder hit on a Silk Road user seeking to extort him. Ulbricht was told that the crime had been carried out, although the FBI could not confirm any person was actually killed.

Agents found Ulbricht after Canadian border authorities routinely checked a package intended for his San Francisco home and discovered nine fake identification cards within, which Ulbricht allegedly was seeking to obtain to rent more servers to power Silk Road as it massively expanded.

The 29-year-old University of Texas graduate had first created a trail for himself, however, by asking for help working with Tor dark web tacticts on coding site StackOverflow.com, the complaint says. His original question appears to remain on the site here.

Ulbricht also appeared very active on social media. He"d recently flagged a video on YouTube, "How To Get Away With Stealing," calling it "for later."

The man behind Silk Road"s commission on the activity, the FBI alleges, has totaled 600,000 Bitcoins, or about $80 million by its own conversions.

The Dread Pirate Robert"s life, formerly behind the scenes, was the subject of a recent FORBES" cover story, "The Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk Road." In the story, DPR, or Ulbricht as the FBI now claims, told Andy Greenberg he couldn"t communicate outside of the underground anonymous Tor software system through which he operated Silk Road, noting: "The highest levels of government are hunting me, I can"t take any chances."

In a separate interview, DPR told Greenberg that he hadn"t started Silk Road but had taken over for Silk Road"s true founder, who was "well compensated" for the switch and remained active. The name "Dread Pirate Roberts" is a reference to the movie "The Princess Bride," in which the character by that name mentions having his own predecessors.

If DPR"s claim to Greenberg is true that he was not the first administrator on the site, it"s possible that the government"s manhunt is not over. The FBI complaint also notes DPR had several associate administrators working with him to operate the site.

The Silk Road didn"t just sell drugs. The FBI says listings also offered social media hacks, illegal contact lists, currency and firearms.

It appears that looking to purchase identification may have been that unnecessary chance that has put an end to the current DPR"s run, but there were other holes in the system. FORBES also purchased marijuana over the Silk Road market and found its purchases could be traced.

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Go click on the article to see the FBI's seizure notification of the Silk Road.
Tsar of DDO
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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10/2/2013 6:59:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 6:30:20 PM, YYW wrote:
This is astonishing... or it is, to me, at least.

Which part?
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YYW
Posts: 36,375
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10/2/2013 7:04:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 6:59:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/2/2013 6:30:20 PM, YYW wrote:
This is astonishing... or it is, to me, at least.

Which part?

(1) That the Silk Road has fallen
(2) That the Dread Pirate Roberts has been arrested
(3) The FBI seized it -after this long.
(4) That the Dread Pirate Roberts was dumb enough to talk to Forbes.
Tsar of DDO
TheAntidoter
Posts: 4,323
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10/2/2013 9:08:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 9:07:46 PM, TheAntidoter wrote:
Oh noes!

jk, but still.

WSA posted about this site 6 months earlier.
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Nac.

WOAH, COLORED FONT!
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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10/3/2013 5:40:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/2/2013 7:04:00 PM, YYW wrote:
At 10/2/2013 6:59:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 10/2/2013 6:30:20 PM, YYW wrote:
This is astonishing... or it is, to me, at least.

Which part?

(1) That the Silk Road has fallen

His security was crap.

(2) That the Dread Pirate Roberts has been arrested

His security was crap.

(3) The FBI seized it -after this long.

His security was crap.

(4) That the Dread Pirate Roberts was dumb enough to talk to Forbes.

His security was crap.....

This guy was so stupid that he kept the messages between him and a supposed hit-man on an un-encrypted hard drive.

Eithere he didn't care about being caught, or he is the biggest idiot in history.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
muzebreak
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10/3/2013 5:58:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
My professor just raised a good point on this matter, so I thought I'd post it here.

The guy who ran silk road was obviously tech savy, so he would know how to make his actions more secure.

Doing so could easily be done for free, with little effort on his part.

He could have simply paid someone else to make his actions more secure, if he was too lazy to do it himself.

So, considering these facts, why were his actions not more secure?
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
anomalous
Posts: 118
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10/3/2013 11:15:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 5:58:03 AM, muzebreak wrote:
My professor just raised a good point on this matter, so I thought I'd post it here.

The guy who ran silk road was obviously tech savy, so he would know how to make his actions more secure.

Doing so could easily be done for free, with little effort on his part.

He could have simply paid someone else to make his actions more secure, if he was too lazy to do it himself.

So, considering these facts, why were his actions not more secure?

The person they've arrested is a scapegoat and the real DPR is still free?
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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10/4/2013 3:31:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 10/3/2013 11:15:11 PM, anomalous wrote:
At 10/3/2013 5:58:03 AM, muzebreak wrote:
My professor just raised a good point on this matter, so I thought I'd post it here.

The guy who ran silk road was obviously tech savy, so he would know how to make his actions more secure.

Doing so could easily be done for free, with little effort on his part.

He could have simply paid someone else to make his actions more secure, if he was too lazy to do it himself.

So, considering these facts, why were his actions not more secure?

The person they've arrested is a scapegoat and the real DPR is still free?

Who knows, could be. It would fit the name.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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10/19/2013 9:30:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There are already sites up to handle the traffic.

Silly FBI, thinking they can win the "war on drugs". Shutting down the Silk Road is like nuking an asteroid; it may not be one huge problem, but now you've got a hundred smaller ones.

Not to mention that attacking the sites is really stupid, because drug websites provide a safe and secure way to purchase drugs instead of dealing with shady street gangs.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown