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2013 - Silk Road shut down

Silk Road leveraged semi-anonymous online networks "deep web" to run a marketplace for contraband goods. I heard of people being able to buy relatively rare psychedelics there like DMT, but I never tried my hand. Looks like there was some high volume trading of powdered drugs, and guns and more.

And 2 October 2013, busted by the FBI:


The FBI busted Silk Road proprietor, San Francisco resident Ross Ulbricht ("Dread Pirate Roberts"), and seized Bitcoin wallets estimated at $3.6 million.

"FBI shuts alleged online drug marketplace Silk Road" Reuters story on the Chicago Tribune, by Emily Flitter.


Ross Ulbricht aka "Dread Pirate Roberts"
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rossulbricht
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rossulbricht

Forbes.com published an interview with "Dread Pirate Roberts" in August 2013.


Besides the obvious allegations of aiding and abetting illict pleasure seekers, the FBI charges Ulbricht with putting out a hit on a business associate. That sounds like idealist-rebel-business-consumed-by-greed-and-paranoia, unless it's government-defaming-of-a-counterculture-hero.


According to BoingBoing:

"Government agents identified the main Silk Road server and imaged its hard drive in July, which gave the federal government a previously unobtainable cache of information about the marketplace's operations."

Back in August, TOR the anonymous network that hosted Silk Road was compromised as well - coverage on BoingBoing.

Ours is a time when computer network security is become a social issue. That makes me want to spend more time paying attention to Bruce Schneier: https://www.schneier.com/.

After reading this below, I suspect that small-quantity psychedelics purchasers should be only slightly concerned:

"As recently as last month, the FBI said it was able to browse advertisements on Silk Road for products that could be purchased on the site including multi-kilogram quantities of heroin, cocaine and meth, as well as forged government IDs and firearms." (source: rt.html)


Silk Road is shuttered: BoingBoing had an image by Adrian Chen: by Adrian Chen, from BoingBoing

Here's Silk Road (marketplace) on Wikipedia.

Bitcoin values plunged (theverge.com), and are recovering: http://markets.blockchain.info/

Here's a Silk Road Google News Search, to track developments.

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