DPR’s Silk Road Account Logged Into Weeks after Ulbricht was Arrested

The controversy surrounding the arrest of the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht continues as yet another spanner is thrown into the works.

This time, it comes in the form of a discrepancy, which reveals that the Silk Road founder’s forum account, Dread Pirate Roberts or DPR, had been accessed about six weeks after Ross Ulbricht had been arrested for masterminding the dark web drug bazaar.

If this found to be true, this new revelation could have an impact on the Silk Road mastermind’s case.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

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Three Possible Scenarios

The Dread Pirate Roberts account was apparently being accessed by an unknown individual six weeks after Ross Ulbricht’s arrest.
The Dread Pirate Roberts account was apparently being accessed by an unknown individual six weeks after Ross Ulbricht’s arrest.

Speculation about who exactly could have had access to the administrator’s account has birthed three conceivable possibilities.

It could either be a law enforcement agent involved with the Silk Road investigation, someone who had access to the investigation or alternatively, another Silk Road administrator.

The third outcome is bound to cause quite a few ripples and it will likely tear open this case.

However, the first outcome looks highly likely especially after newly found evidence points to there being a third agent involved in the fraudulent activities that took place during the investigation where two federal agents were arrested and charged with stealing bitcoins.

The Unknown Third Party

In a letter filed with the office of the US attorney in Maryland, Joshua Dratel, the defense attorney of Ross Ulbricht, spoke at length concerning the third suspect in the incidences of corruption during the investigations.

Dratel’s letter divulges that the third suspect (the person who was manning the DPR forum account after the arrest of Ulbricht), who is still at large, sold information concerning the investigation to Dread Pirate Roberts and later attempted to cover up their tracks by deleting the evidence.

Silk Road Admin Account Accessed Six Weeks Later

Someone Accessed Silk Road Admin Account While Ulbricht Was in Jail
Someone Accessed Silk Road Admin Account While Ulbricht Was in Jail

Ulbricht was apprehended and placed into police custody on October 2, 2013. Although the Silk Road site was down, the forums kept going until last November 22, 2013. According to forensic analysts, the last time DPR’s account had been logged into was on November 18, 2013, about six weeks after Ulbricht had been incarcerated.

As expected, this new discovery has thrown a shadow of doubt over the evidence used in the Silk Road case and called to question Ulbricht’s life imprisonment sentencing based on evidence with such discrepancies.

Lindsay Lewis, Ulbricht’s other defense attorney, expressed her conviction that an unknown third party, possibly the real mastermind behind Silk Road, had been accessing the account in the absence of Ulbricht.

In fact, the mastermind’s defense attorneys had argued that Ross Ulbricht could have been framed to take the fall for the real DPR during the Silk Road’s trial.

Government Involvement is Highly Unlikely

Although Ulbricht’s laptop was seized, his defense attorneys were skeptical of whether the government had managed to obtain Ulbricht’s login credentials in order to access his account.

They spoke about the cropping discrepancies that keep poking holes in the Silk Road case and explained why they had not been able to bring it up during the trial.

According to Lewis, at the time, they had been handed six terabytes of information to review, which was impossible to accomplish within the short time frame they had been assigned before the trial.

Lyn Ulbricht also voiced her support for her son, whom she believes got on the wrong end of an unfair sentencing. She sent an email to Motherboard, saying that for one to receive such impetuous sentencing based on evidence that is inconsistent at best is something she considers “a travesty of justice.”

Ross Ulbricht continues to serve his life sentence in prison.

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Defense Suggests There’s Another Corrupt Agent In The Silk Road Case

There has been new evidence unearthed with regard to the Silk Road case. The online black market was actually the first darknet market in these modern times. The platform was utilized by hundreds of drug dealers and clients of these illicit narcotics.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross Ulbricht's Lawyers Say They've Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case
Ross Ulbricht’s Lawyers Say They’ve Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case

However, in October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigations arrested the man behind the site operation, one Ross William Ulbricht, known under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

During his trial, Ross admitted to having founded the Silk Road marketplace, which the FBI shut down, but he claimed to have given control to other people shortly after he founded it.

Further, Ross’s lawyers argued that “Dead Pirate Roberts” wasn’t the accused, but Mark Karpelès. They contended that Ross was just a fall guy.

In February 2015, the jury convicted Ross Ulbricht of seven charges. They included money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and computer hacking.

The Silk Road creator was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on May 2015.

Two other rogue agents of law enforcement were also arrested, former DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shawn Bridges.

The two worked as undercover agents in the Baltimore Silk Road investigation.

The agents were accused to have accepted funds from Ross in exchange of information on the investigation.

Third Corrupt Agent in the Silk Road Case

Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found sign of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.
Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found signs of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.

Recently, Ulbricht’s lawyers revealed that they had unearthed new evidence. They said, they found signs of a third corrupt agent involved to the drug money in Silk Road and that this suspect is still at large.

The defense lawyers said that they got hold of the site’s user forum of a private chat logs that shed light on a mysterious figure referred by the pseudonym “albertpacino,” “alpacino,” or “notwonderful.”

In the conversations with Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonym that Ross used on the site, Alpacino offered to give information about the law enforcement investigations on the Silk Road in exchange for weekly payments.

The reason why these chat logs did not appear in the earlier pieces of evidence shared with the defense and prosecution was because, according to the lawyers, someone in law enforcement tampered with the evidence to cover up the conversations.

The chats were found in a backed up obscure directory on the site’s server, which probably the person who tried to delete them, never knew existed.

This new turn of events, according to the defense, calls into question the credibility of the Silk Road investigation by the prosecution.

Until now, Alpacino was believed to have been a pseudonym that the already convicted agent Carl Mark Force used.

The reason why the defense contends that Alpacino was not actually agent Carl was the fact that in the conversations, Alpacino demanded for $500 a week, which was quite small amount compared to the $50,000 that agent Force was allegedly paid by Ross.

Ulbricht’s lawyers have requested the government for any other additional information that they might have on this Alpacino user.

The entire Silk Road investigation is put into question once again. There is only so much evidence that might be willingly ignored before justice can prevail.

These private chat logs that recently discovered are a possible indication that the law enforcement agencies have a mole, although no one really can pinpoint as to who it is.

Furthermore, if it is possible that the evidence has been tampered with, Ross’s defense lawyers question as to what else has been falsified or forged in the whole Silk Road investigation.

The defense lawyers, even with this new piece of evidence, likely to be presented in the appeal trial in New York, raise doubts in the eyes of the public as to whether it will alter Ross’s fate.

It is questionable as to whether proving the existence of yet another corrupt agent would actually improve the chances of Ross Ulbricht not getting a life sentence.

The defense continues to attempt to overturn the conviction of Ross with this new piece of evidence than previously believed might help his case.

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Silk Road Founder Sends His Thanks To All His Supporters

The Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht, purportedly sent his gratitude to all his supporters on Thanksgiving.

Ulbricht admitted that the darknet market Silkroad began only as an experiment that he thought was idealistic.

Silkroad was meant to allow people to buy or sell whatever they wanted without interference from the government and exploitation that polluted the corporate world.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Ross conveys his message of gratitude to all his family, friends and supporters.
Ross conveys his message of gratitude to all his family, friends and supporters.

Ross thought of himself as a libertarian, believed in personal freedom to do as each one pleased with minimal interference from others.

Therefore, his supporters saw him as a hero who attempted to tame a truly rough and unruly trade.

The Silkroad founder Ross Ulbricht admitted in the courtroom of the “little things” he missed from behind bars, like throwing a Frisbee to a dog in the park and Thanksgiving dinner with his family.

During an interview, the Silkroad creator stated that despite his present circumstances, he was thankful to his family, friends, and supporters.

Those who chose to believe in him. He said that they were a source of encouragement to him and words simply cannot describe that feeling of in-depth gratitude that he felt.

In 2013, Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silkroad, noted that the other thing that he was truly grateful for was that finally after one and a half months in the Special Housing Unit, (SHU), he was now in the general inmate population with other inmates.

The SHU was specially designed to isolate and punish the most chronic and dangerous of prisoners. It was a grim jail with maximum security.

The Silkroad founder was released from the SHU a day to his bail hearing.

Actually, his lawyer argued that Ross was non-violent and his confinement in the maximum security facility was not a necessity.

He is positive despite being curtailed his freedom.
He is positive despite being curtailed his freedom.

Now Ross was grateful that he could breathe fresh air, look out of a window, interact with people and even play a game of chess.

Isolated as he was from the outside, the numerous letters and messages the Silkroad creator got from his supporters gave him hope.

Those who advocated for his release and stood up for freedom were his source of encouragement. The Silkroad founder actually said that prison wasn’t as bad as he had fathomed.

One inmate actually gave him a piece of soap, another lent him a book to read and ward off the boredom and nostalgic feeling.

The Silkroad creator said that the inmates were given a treat of chicken and cranberry source on Thanksgiving, just to make the day festive for them, too.

The Silkroad founder Ulbricht shared that, just like life on the outside, there were acts of kindness and compassion in the prison, amidst the periodical harshness and power trips.

Ulbricht said he was grateful and that he would not blame anyone for his choices in life. The founder of the Silkroad was also grateful that now he could talk to his visitors over a table and not through a plexiglass like before.

Life had taught him to be grateful for the little things he once took for granted when he was a freeman. He said the things we take for granted matter a great deal in prison.

The Silkroad creator sends his “thank you” message to his family, friends, and supporters who have given and dedicated their time, resources, and love which meant the world to him, even from behind bars.

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OpenBazaar Is Decentralized Not Like Silk Road

OpenBazaar has already begun to turn heads its way despite being only a few months old. Amidst several comparisons to the original Silk Road, it is clear that OpenBazaar is nothing like the infamous dark web market in many ways.

For one, the entire platform exists only on the Bitcoin blockchain and does not depend on any servers to run.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

openbazaar released decentralized bitcoin marketplace now live and ready for business
openbazaar released decentralized bitcoin marketplace now live and ready for business

This makes it virtually impossible to pass through both by hackers and the authorities alike. There are a number of reasons why OpenBazaar has been termed as the future of e-commerce and a hero among its peers as it seeks to revolutionize online trading for good.

Part eBay, Part Silk Road

In a sense, the platform does borrow the format of eBay’s trading module in that buyers and sellers interact on a one-on-one basis without a third party getting involved in the transactions.

However, unlike eBay, there is no authoritative third party on the purported Silk Road successor and therefore, there are no listing charges or transaction charges.

The entire decentralized platform is comprised of pure P2P interactions. All the listings are hosted by the individual buyers and sellers, and all the monetary transactions take place on the Bitcoin network with no third party involved. OpenBazaar also does not store users’ transaction information.

The Silk Road bit comes when it comes to the type of listings that are predicted to show up on OpenBazaar soon enough.

Much like the heavy-hitting drug-based market Silk Road, it is only a matter of time before OpenBazaar follows in its footsteps, especially since the platform cannot be censored.

OpenBazaar has in fact been compared to major cell phone companies such as Verizon, who can do little to prevent illicit activities being aided by their users and are, thus not liable for anything.

openbazaar-turning-into-silk-road-would-be-considered-a-failure
OpenBazaar has been likened to Silk Road, despite the free market being fully decentralized, free of the sale of drugs and illicit substances.

OpenBazaar Turning into Silk Road Would Be Considered a Failure

CEO Brian Hoffman has always been clear about his stand on the illicit drug trade that was spawned by Ulbricht’s Silk Road.

He strongly wishes that the platform follows in the footsteps of Amazon and eBay despite the fact that he and his team can do little to stop the listing of illicit items on the website.

In one clear comparison, Hoffman said that the hundreds of millions, or possibly billions of dollars that were made off of the drug trade by Silk Road in all its years of operations were nothing compared to the collective amounts of money made in e-commerce every year.

His ambition is that the decentralized platform remains drug-free and oriented towards serving the greater good.

Hoffman believes that OpenBazaar is not just another market; rather it is the future of decentralized free trade.

Should it be successful and not taken down due to illicit activities like Silk Road, it has the potential to revolutionize trade forever.

Why OpenBazaar, Unlike Silk Road, Is Impenetrable

A lot has been said about OpenBazaar being virtually untouchable. Fundamentally, the platform operates on a completely different scale than Silk Road or any other darknet market, primarily because of its decentralized nature.

The open-source software market has no proprietor or authority figure, making it safer than Silk Road, which was full of scammers, and websites such as Oasis and the infamous Sheep Marketplace that performed an exit scam and went away with over $100 million of their users’ money.

The free market can be run on Tor, although it can just as easily run on the clearnet using any basic browser.

Clearly, the authorities cannot shut down the network in its entirety given that it runs on users’ machines rather than centralized servers.

As such, if a drug bust was to happen and the perpetrators’ websites gain access, this would not affect the rest of the OpenBazaar network.

Hoffman divulged that the peer-to-peer software that is in use is comparable to that of P2P file-sharing communications protocol, BitTorrent.

As such, there are no physical servers running the OpenBazaar network, making it perfectly decentralized.

On the subject of payments, the market uses Bitcoin as its primary form of transaction.

However, unlike Silk Road, users are able to choose their preferred arbitrary third party for transactions after forming unmanipulatable authenticated contracts called Ricardian Contracts.

The third party (a fellow user of the market) will then arbitrate the sale and only sign off on the funds if the buyer is completely satisfied with the product.

OpenBazaar is Here to Stay

Based on the operating protocol of the platform and the philosophy of its creators, comparing the decentralized OpenBazaar market to the highly centralized drug-based Silk Road market is nothing short of stereotyping a free market that holds so much promise for the future of e-commerce.

Whether drugs and illicit items will gradually fill the listings of the website only time will tell. For now, people are quite hopeful that the revolutionary free market has a lot to achieve.

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Free Ross-A-Thon Dedicated To Raise Awareness Of The Silk Road Case

The controversial arrest and sentencing of the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht remain a thorn in many people’s sides, including his mother, Lyn Ulbricht.

Ross was sentenced to life in prison without parole last May 2015 for non-violent charges and has been fighting for his freedom ever since.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

His latest breakthrough came in the form of an appeal to an appellate bench of judges in Manhattan earlier, and now a number of high profile individuals in technology and human rights are getting behind his efforts to overcome the unfair judgment.

Event Aims to Raise Awareness and Funds

Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom
Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be held on December 4 and will focus on raising funds and awareness concerning the Silk Road case in efforts to get the world to see what liberty author Doug Casey has called “a gigantic injustice.”

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be hosted by Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, alongside Terry Brock and Tatiana Moroz.

It will also feature some prominent appearances from high-profile individuals including Deep Web director Alex Winter, radio show host Tom Woods, the director of Antiwar.com, Angela Keaton and freedom activist Adam Kokesh.

The event seeks to raise funds to cover the cost of printing and binding Ross’s appeal documents which, shockingly, will cost roughly $14,000.

Unfair Ruling of The Silk Road Case Still Protested

The Silk Road case was one disfigured with controversy and quite a few sideshows.

One of the prominent occurrences of the case was the arrest of two FBI agents involved in the investigations after they were caught stealing Bitcoins.

Many are of the opinion that Ulbricht’s trial was unfairly decided when the prosecutors decided to bring in the mother of a drug user who had died from an overdose of drugs he obtained from the Silk Road.

The said case also brought to light the unconventional information gathering techniques employed by the FBI to unlawfully obtain people’s private data.

The final nail in the coffin was the protested life without patrol sentence that was ultimately handed to Ross Ulbricht.

Doug Casey was quite vocal on the matter of the heavy sentence handed to Ulbricht, whose crimes barely deserved a sentencing that the liberty author compared to “a political sentence worse than any sentence the Soviet Union has ever dealt out.”

Speakers to Highlight the Government’s Shortcomings in the Drug War

Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case
Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case

Speakers at the Free Ross-A-Thon will focus on the insufficiencies of the government, especially when it comes to the ongoing war against drugs.

There will also be mention of how the outcome of the Silk Road case ultimately plays out for the rest of us internet users and what it could mean for individual freedom and privacy online.

The Free Ross-A-Thon star-studded charity event will see some of the most impactful internet personalities give their two cents on a matter that has remained a controversial issue beyond internet forums and the realms of the deep web where the Silk Road existed.

Free Ross-A-Thon will also serve as an opportunity for many to pick the brains of these brilliant personalities on various matters relating to the contested Ross Ulbricht’s case.

Lyn Ulbricht insists that the fight for Ross’s freedom is more than just a family affair or a mother’s cry against an unjust ruling.

The injustices committed during Ross Ulbricht’s case affect more than just one family or the users of one website, she explained, and that the future implications of rulings such as those could affect everyone.

The Free Ross-A-Thon is an open event that everyone can register for and the Ulbricht family is encouraging people to turn out in support of Ross Ulbricht.

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ZCoin Donating to Charities Supporting the Silk Road Creator

ZCoin is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency that joins the growing list of cryptocurrency and uses cryptographic proofs of Zero-Knowledge on their network.

The Moneta rebrand was coined (pun unintended) by Poramin Insom and Gary Le last September 28, 2016.

As such, it is still fairly beginning to exist.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Zerocoin Protocol is different from all previous approaches, offering a level of privacy not found in any other cryptocurrency.
Zerocoin Protocol is different from all previous approaches, offering a level of privacy not found in any other cryptocurrency.

It is important to note that ZCoin is not affiliated in any way with Zcash, which also adopts the Zero-Knowledge technology on its network.

Other notable users of the Zero-Knowledge technology include the Komodo Project.

ZCoin Pledges $25,000 To the Silkroad Founder’s Cause

Le and Insom are known avid supporters of what the Silkroad founder, Ross Ulbricht, represented.

They firmly believe in liberty and free market enterprise and hold on to their strong opinions concerning the unfair trial of the Silkroad founder.

According to the ZCoin founders, Ulbricht’s Silkroad was a herald to the era of free commerce and promoted individual liberty.

Therefore,it comes as no surprise that ZCoin has officially pledged to commit to donate 100 ZCoins every month for the next four years to support the Silkroad founder’s cause and also to finance his latest appeal.

They made the statement on their blog and mentioned that the donations to the various charities supporting Ulbricht’s cause would facilitate the Silkroad creator’s quest for freedom via an appeal.

They also went ahead to do a quick calculation of the accumulative amount of ZCoins, their donations would garner over the course of four years based on its current exchange rate ($25,000).

The Silkroad creator has appealed his case to a bench of three appellate judges in Manhattan earlier this year.

The donations received by the Ross Ulbricht charities look to cover any legal expenses including the cost of funding his lawyers as they embark on the appeal.

“The war on drugs is a complete failure” – ZCoin Founders

Gary Le, ZCoin Developer
Gary Le, ZCoin Developer

Le and Insom feel strongly about the war in history, especially as the government paints it, and were not afraid to term it “a complete failure” on the government’s part.

In their opinion, the government has turned the war on drugs into a business venture, funded mostly by the asset seizure policy that allows drugs, money and other assets obtained in a raid to be stolen by government “bandits.”

They believe that Ulbricht’s Silkroad was the first to try and curb the government’s exploits using technology to beat the system and keep Ulbricht and various Silkroad traders away from the government’s sights.

The ZCoin founders believe that if it were not the government’s self-serving motives, Ulbricht would not only have been exempted from such a strict sentencing, he would also not have been sent to prison at all.

Silkroad created a peaceful environment where consenting individuals of age could conduct various trades, according to the two ZCoin founders.

Life imprisonment without parole for the Silkroad founder was unwarranted and a punishment that was generally deemed excessive, especially considering the fact that drug offenders rarely get slapped with sentences that harsh.

ZCoin’s Quest for an Ideal World in the Wake of Silkroad

The ZCoin founders believe that their creation continues what Silkroad had started before being abruptly dismantled by the government three years ago.

They believe that by combining the innovativeness of the Bitcoin protocol with the privacy-centric Zero-Knowledge technology, they will eventually achieve total non-interference from governments and other authorities that impact on individuals’ competitive processes.

The ultimate goal, according to the blog post on their website, is to create individual liberty, a free market and, most importantly, bring peace to the world.

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US Federal Prosecutor Tells About Bitcoin Online Crimes

Federal prosecutor Kathryn Haun came to know about Bitcoin when she was asked whether she would want to prosecute the cryptocurrency.

Haun, who is currently serving as the assistant US attorney of San Francisco’s US Department of Justice (DOJ), took almost no time to understand that prosecuting Bitcoin will never be possible for her.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

Kathryn Haun, assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco
Kathryn Haun, assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco

The attorney, who is known for having her focus on murders, prison gangs, and organized crimes, found that prosecuting the cryptocurrency would be something equivalent to prosecuting cash.

However, she did not stop from gathering further knowledge about Bitcoin online crimes.

The journey has actually changed the US federal prosecutor’s life altogether.

There was a time when she did not have any idea about the cryptocurrency, but right now she is a person to talk to whenever something happens pertaining to Bitcoin.

Right now, Haun is enhancing the post of the digital currency coordinator at DOJ and teaches cyber crime and digital currency at the Stanford Law School.

In addition, she has also succeeded in sending a couple of federal agents behind the bars for committing online Bitcoin crime.

The two individuals in question are corrupt Silk Road investigators, who attempted to steal Bitcoin worth $800,000.

The majority of the cryptocurrency users are aware of the fact that the much talked about the Silk Road investigation involves a series of angles.

For instance, many are still questioning the judgment passed on to Ross Ulbricht, one of the main accused in the Silk Road case.

Ulbricht used to be a dark web market operator who got convicted of running the Silk Road and got arrested in 2013.

In addition, the case also involves law enforcement agents who are not beyond doubt; the two jailed investigators stand as the testimony of this fact.

Kathryn Haun is one person who has witnessed everything that happened during the Silk Road investigation, which helped her to gather valuable knowledge about the situation as well as the subject.

The investigation against the two corrupt federal agents connected to the dark web market, Silk Road, originally began with an unidentified tip.

It is surprising that no one thought that the anonymous tip would be revealing any kind of truth, it ended up unraveling the main truth.

It is often said and widely believed that greed succeeds in bringing out the worst from most humans; this incident proved that the statement stands true even for the federal law enforcement agents.

It showed that when it comes to money, even the protectors of law can become involved in unlawful activities.

Kathryn Haun, the US Federal Prosecutor, recently unveiled how she tries to bring criminal Bitcoin usage to an end. Prosecuting cryptocurrency-related crimes has been proven to be quite a challenge so far, though.
Kathryn Haun, the current digital currency coordinator at the DOJ in San Francisco, revealed a series of essential facts about Bitcoin online crimes.

When monitoring the Silk Road investigation, Kathryn Haun found that both the corrupt Silk Road investigators completed the job of stealing bitcoins in a way that made them almost “perfect criminals.”

That is because both of them knew the perfect way of covering tracks. However, there are a few behavioral patterns that cannot be denied.

It is impossible to decrease digital breadcrumbs just by using online aliases. As a result, the law enforcement officers eventually managed to get hold of the fraudulent Silk Road investigators.

What left people around the globe, particularly users of cryptocurrency, deeply surprised, is that how Haun confirmed that criminals have a habit of using mailboxes provided by different Russian providers.

On the other hand, as expected by most, Haun’s account revealed that mixers and tumblers have big roles to play in the process of laundering the steal Bitcoin funds.

The reassuring fact is that it is very much possible to unscramble those activities if enough time and effort are invested.

At the end of the day, it is absolutely heartwarming to see Haun admits that Bitcoin is not something that’s just about online crimes.

She confirmed that crime levels involving cash are still significantly higher compared to criminal activities involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Another great role the attorney has played is that she advocates the new technology called blockchain technology.

Experts are saying that this technology has the potential of making a major impact because most crimes are facilitated because of forged documents; that is a threat blockchain technology is capable of terminating seamlessly.

According to Haun, this holds great importance as the majority of the cases she has prosecuted so far (these include marriage fraud, impersonation of dead individuals, some murder cases, and of course this case involving cryptocurrency) have been affected severely by some form of stolen, counterfeit, or forged public document.

This indicates that the coming years might see blockchain technology gain huge popularity among cryptocurrency users.

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How ICE Aided In The Silk Road Takedown

The United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was recently discovered to have a hand in the seizure of the Silk Road marketplace.

In a special expose published by the immigration department, it was revealed how ICE agents had been an instrument in the takedown of the Silk Road back in October 2013.

Currently, ICE is heavily involved in taking down other criminals on the deep web.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

ICE Collaborated with the Cyber Crimes Center

ICE aided in the takedown of Silk Road and how ICE is currently combating deepweb activity.
ICE aided in the takedown of Silk Road and how ICE is currently combating deepweb activity.

ICE’s extended reach into cyber crime has been facilitated by The Cyber Crimes Center (C3), who, according to their Deputy Assistant Director (DAD), Patrick Lechleitner is not at all scared by the darknet.

The DAD said that the sophistication of Darknet has been largely overestimated and that only special permissions are required to access the site.

Under the Department of Homeland Security, ICE is largely concerned with crimes taking place along the US border such as human and drug trafficking, and illegal immigration.

Despite that, the recently published report resolved the extended reach ICE has through The Cyber Crimes Center.

ICE’s Presence Instrumental in the Demise of the Silk Road

ICE was drawn into the DHS investigation named “Operation Dime Store,” leading to the seizure of the Silk Road.

This was after several small drug seizures were made at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport at the mail hub.

According to ICE, the seized packages were highly unusual because they were all sourced from international locations and were addressed to locations all over the United States, and were not commonly ship through the mail.

ICE was given a tasked with finding the source of the drugs and after intercepting and analyzing several packages, they traced that the drugs came from the darknet market and it did not take long.

Following the discovery, ICE dedicated all its efforts, they analyzed the fingerprints on the packaging to look for clues in tracking the drug vendors and where the site was hosted and made an undercover purchase to enter the website.

Investigations Spearheaded by SA DerYeghiayan

ICE agent SA DerYeghiayan spearheaded the investigations and enter the darknet market as an undercover agent and eventually became a top lieutenant the Silk Road website, said Lechleitner.

Throughout the investigations, Yeghiayan had played a vital role; he analyzed seized drugs, interrogated suspects, and collected evidence. He often included participation in arresting suspected vendors and was given an insight, perspective of the darknet market.

Expose explained that DerYeghiayanhan served as the lead witness in the Silk Road case in the US.

Ulbricht would not have been found guilty, without the agent’s work, ICE guaranteed Ulbricht’s double life sentence due to following criminal offenses: money laundering, smuggling of illegal drugs, continuing criminal enterprise, hacking, and fraud documentation.

Yeghiayan said that the most satisfying part of the investigation was blocking the website and putting an end through the dangerous flow of drugs and weapons across the world, but the most important is to shut down the website.

ICE’s victory over the Silk Road was the beginning of their adaptation to the deep web, according to their DAD Patrick Lechleitner.

ICE Perfectly Adapted To Take On Modern Cyber Crime

silkroad-takedown
ICE reveals an expose that shows that they played a big role in the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

As the deep web criminal world continues to grow, so does ICE’s reach and their workload.

The ICE HSI is directly involved in the fight against criminal activity in the cyber environment.

As a criminal investigation unit, HSI fights criminal activity on the darknet one step at a time, the same way they do offline.

As Lechleitner put it, this market a new era in law enforcement and simultaneously symbolized the evolution of law enforcement agencies, which was unavoidable for them to be able to adapt to the rapidly changing technological world.

As any other crime, ICE believes that sites such as the Silk Road cause a danger to citizens as long as nothing is done to control it.

Darknet Sites Dangerous to US Citizens

Darknet sites affect the average citizen both directly and indirectly. American faces many risks of the activity taking place on the dark web, Lechleitner explained.

Darknet market relates itself to the personal identification of a US citizen being stolen, based on ICE. Furthermore, the injection of illegal drugs and weapons into the society eventually bears dangerous effects to the people by way of increased crime rates.

ICE’s DAD signed off with a threat to any deep web criminals, saying that their involvement with illegal activities on the dark web market will eventually be caught up with by the federal law enforcement, who are always on the lookout.

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The Day $28 Million In Bitcoins Were Seized From Silk Road

New trends in Technology industry are like daily events, because of the high number and quality of people working in this domain, innovation is almost a routine task – while doing the impossible or unthinkable is a near-future target.

Every now and then, the “regular” population adopts one of the new trends in the business, moving it from a curiosity to a world-changing idea.

In 2008, the most widely-accepted technological breakthrough was the Bitcoin. However, one of the biggest pieces of regarding the Bitcoin connected the currency to Silkroad – a famous online black market.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

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$28 million in bitcoins seized from Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht

After the appearance of the Bitcoin, people have often wondered why a cryptocurrency took so long to appear in our lives.

The idea behind the Bitcoin is simple, it is a transfer of authority and a virtual currency which you can use to pay anything and everything online.

Although the idea went exceptionally well on paper, thereality was a bit slower to react.

Even in 2015, the number of merchants accepting payments in Bitcoins just passed the 100,000 mark – not enough to be called a full-fledged “revolution.”

The U.S. Government and security agencies didn’t give the currency lots of attention at the beginning either, but that all changed in 2011 when they targeted the above-mentioned Silkroad.

Since the currency was more-or-less completely anonymous and impossible to track, it quickly became the preferred way to pay for certain goods or services which were illicit.

This paired exceptionally well with the now-defunct website, the Silkroad.

It was owned by an individual called Ross William Ulbricht, which was a standard online marketplace – except for the fact that the goods that were traded in Silkroad were highly illicit.

Silkroad made a small fortune functioning as an online black market for drugs – but Ross Ulbricht quickly caught the attention of the authorities.

The founder of Silkroad was arrested in October 2013 and was charged with several accusations – ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering conspiracies.

Basically, he was charged to have conspired with every illicit dealing that took place on the Silkroad.

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The Bitcoin in connection with the Silkroad, a famous online black market performed a record-breaking bust of more than $28 million.

The FBI took the entire scene one step further, and at the end of that month, made its biggest Bitcoin confiscation in history, from various members of the Silkroad.

The FBI seized just over 144,000 Bitcoins, an amount equivalent to roughly $28 million.

Along with this operation, the U.S. authorities also shut down Silkroad and sentenced Ross Ulbricht to no less than life in jail.

The size of the undertaking was the impressive part of the story, along with bringing the Silkroad to nationwide public’s attention.

It’s not an everyday occurrence you see a government take hold of $30 million in Bitcoins, especially for online transactions involving websites like Silkroad.

The size of the action also showed the world the downsides of having a currency such as the Bitcoin: having it used to its fullest for wrongdoings.

Since Bitcoin transactions are hard to track, especially when using anonymity tools like Tor, they are the perfect method of committing online frauds or crimes.

While Silkroad was closed, there is no exact quantity of how many of these websites functions in the U.S. alone, not to mention worldwide, where information security isn’t treated as seriously as in the United States.

Ross Ulbricht’s trial was relatively short and easy. His only defense was that while he had indeed found Silkroad, he gave up its administration to other people – a fact which was quickly proven false by prosecutors.

He was quickly sentenced to life in prison and was turned into one of the most famous examples of 21st-century criminals.

Silkroad was quickly shut down after his conviction, proving that he was indeed one of the main players on the website.

Smart, using technology to his advantage and always on top of his game, Ross Ulbricht has been a great example of what can happen when crimes update themselves to get in line with 21st-century technology.

To sum up, the 28th of October will be remembered as the day in which the largest-ever Bitcoin confiscation was made.

This confiscation marked the end of the Silkroad and a lifetime conviction of its owner, founder, and administrator, Ross Ulbricht.

Privacy and power are great additions to everyday life for normal people, but if they fall into the wrong hands, we all know what they’re capable of.

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The Dark Web And The Man Behind The Silk Road

The internet is limitless. Search engines like Google are resourceful; they only have access based on the most extensive online world.

The dark web typically comprises a huge network of non-indexed websites which require specific software or a special set of configurations to access.

In comparison to the deep web—the part of the internet that although hidden from search results, can be accessed using passwords and other forms of authorization—it offers a certain level of anonymity even from the law enforcement.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

As such, the dark web is fueled by the activities of the illegal variety. It is an infamous criminal hub since online activity on the dark web is somewhat untraceable and provides a much-needed mask around people involved in illegitimate trade among other illegal activities.

Created By: US Military Researchers

 

ross-ulbricht
Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk Road

The darkweb was created in the 90s by the United States government as a hidden network within which their spies could exchange information anonymously.

 

The government and military researchers birthed The Onion Router, famously known as TOR, and made it available to the public as a way of enhancing their spies’ anonymity by making it harder for them to investigate through thousands of interactions.

The term “Onion Router” was coined because the router used the onion routing technique where websites are buried under layers of concealing data, effectively making them anonymous.

Currently, TOR is hosting an estimated 30,000 hidden websites, most of which are on the .onion domain.

“The Dark Web is Like a Forest” – Daniel Prince

In an effort to clearly explain the workings of the dark web, the Lancaster University Associate Director Security, Daniel Prince, gave a simple illustration on how it operates on the popular website.

He linked the internet to a gigantic forest where the only way to get from one point to another is through designated paths, which he referred to as search engines like Google.

Other than the paths, there was no way to navigate the forest unless directed where to look. This is the principle that is built upon and which allows activities and identities to stay well hidden, he said.

Not surprisingly, the anonymity factor proves to be very appealing to the criminal’s minds, who have crowded the hidden network to conduct their various illegal deeds.

Although the dark web is primarily considered to be a criminal hub, it is a useful resource for journalists and activists who wish to relay sensitive information away from prying eyes.

List of Criminal Activities

dark-web-crime
Weapons and drugs trade to the growing child pornography ring, we take a comprehensive look into the mysterious side of the internet.

According to a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth in 2014, child pornography takes the lead as the most wanted content on the dark web and is closely followed by the illegal trade of weapons, drugs and stolen personal information.

Other unlawful activities that are conducted under the cover of anonymity include hacking, fraud, and abuse.

Law Enforcement Have Made Several Busts

As much as TOR is considered inaccessible, it has been the subject of more than a few raids by law enforcement agencies and numerous arrests have been made in connection with the criminal activities conducted.

Governments have begun dedicating more resources towards breaching the anonymous network, typically using malware and viruses that compromise users and relay their information to their servers.

In one notable case, the UK government’s efforts to eliminate child pornography resulted in the capture of the most wanted pedophile in Britain, Richard Huckle.

They achieved this after secretly capturing a child abuse website. The perpetrator was served 22 life sentences for 71 child sex offenses.

Another online bust dubbed “Operation Onymous” resulted in the arrest of 17 people and the takeover of hundreds of pounds in bitcoin. Of all the arrests, however, only one person was successfully taken into custody.

The Take Down of The Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile arrests made in the history of the dark web.

The alleged creator of the multi-million dollar drug-fueled dark web market, the Silk Road, was arrested in a bust that was so massive, it led to the collapse of the website in its totality.

At the time, the Silk Road market was worth an estimated $34.5 million and had a customer base of over one million users.

Services that could be obtained on the Silk Road included fake identification cards and passports, purchase of drugs and weapons and hacking services.

There was even an elaborate system to rate and review the services to make it easier for new customers of the Silk Road.

Ross Ulbricht’s arrest did not necessarily mean the end of the Silk Road market as it has since spawned three other successors, two of which have also failed tragically.

Ross Ulbricht is currently serving his life sentence in a New York prison for charges including money laundering, drug trafficking, and attempted murder.

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