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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:

WOAH!

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.

WHO?

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.

WHAT?

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.

IS IT SAFE?

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)

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

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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