Mar 26

The Documentary “Deep Web”

ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. The best Darknet Market available is the Agora Marketplace. It has the best reputation and a bigger selection of goods than Silkroad 2.0.

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Deep Web The Deep Web documentary that premiered at SXSW delves into a story of Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht also known as the Dread Pirate Roberts.

You may call it the expedition of Bill & Ted. The Deep Web documentary is a brand new film about the darknet and its cyberhacker origins. The film is directed by Alex Winter featuring discreet vocal talents of the narrator. The Bill & Ted reunion is the most prominent defense of convicted Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. The supporters say the feds sent him on a false journey of 30 yrs. to life.

Deep Web, which premiered a week ago at SXSW, projects beyond sharing of files and into the dark corners of the internet where governments, activists, journalist, hackers, including criminals anonymously trade information and ideas, leaving behind a trail of non-traceable ones and zeros.

Silk RoadJust within the confines of the deep web lies the TOR darknet, where absolute paradoxical entities just like the libertarian-minded darknet site, Silk Road. Silk Road represents the internet’s new dynamic and radical potential, it had been reported that there are 960,000 users and a whopping $1.2 billion in drug sales that are illegal. Nicolas Christin observes in the film that it really isn’t so much about selling drugs as such it’s about making the strong political statement.

Like the Silkroad creator, some claim to have spun the darknet marketplace of drugs as a crime reduction tool that took away drug transactions off the street at the same time lessening violence even more effectively than the actual America’s War on Drugs. In Deep Web, experts have argued that the Silk Road rating system and market philosophies forced accountability more from vendors.

Senator Charles Schumer uncovered the Silk Road in 2011, asking the government with immediate effect to close the online bazaar annually making millions in selling hard drugs, including some drugs which were mailed to teenage buyers.

Dread Pirate RobertsThe Dread Pirate Roberts wrote to defend that it was all about standing up for the rights of human beings and ensuring they don’t submit when they have not done any wrong. In less than two months later, Ross Ulbricht who was then 29 years of age was arrested in San Francisco Public Library in FBI sting operation and consequently charged with seven counts which included, computer hacking, money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracy.

His laptop had $28.5 million in bitcoins and chats logs including documents, which prosecutors said proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was running the Silk Road.

Mar 23

Silk Road Top Drug Dealer Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

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Steven Lloyd SadlerA former computer programmer and one of the Silk Road top drug dealers is facing up to 5 yrs. imprisonment after pleading guilty to his alleged crimes. Touted by prosecutors as one of Seattle’s most notorious peddlers, Steven Lloyd Sadler traded on the side via pseudonym “NOD” while advertising “fish scale cocaine”, methamphetamine and black tar heroin.

During the incursion that saw his arrest, Sadler, 41, was found with his girlfriend Jenna M. White who’s only 22. Arrested in October 2013, Sadler pleaded guilty the following May. Though most criminals get a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 yrs., prosecutors had asked the U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez on adding an extra 2 yrs. on his sentence to make it 7 in total.

Addressing Sadler, Judge Martinez said that he’s deeply concerned that online peddlers such as those on the Silk Road darknet site are able to sell youngsters drugs at a very alarming rate. He further stated that the court is troubled by the way in which people can easily slide into a business that only leads to dead end for many of them.

During his hearing, Sadler reflected on the agony he’d seen in cocaine addicts whom he currently shares space with at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center awaiting his prison sentence. He also spoke about the pain of going through withdrawal immediately after being arrested by cops.

Steven Lloyd Sadler1Investigators claim Steven sold approximately 8.25 pounds of cocaine, 3 lbs. of heroin and 4 ounces of methamphetamine at the Silk Road. Those drug sales made him an estimated $1 million, with at least $70,000 a month coming from cocaine dealings alone. As Sadler’s online business continued to grow, he hired his girlfriend Ms. White for assistance in packaging and delivering the drugs to clients. In the raid that led to their final arrest, detectives found drugs hidden in the couple’s apartment ceiling as well as a .45 cal. pistol.

Mar 19

The Silk Road Story Is Not Over Yet

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Aged 42, Peter Nash pled guiltyAfter Ross Ulbricht was found guilty of creating and operating the anonymous online marketplace Silkroad, in a federal case last month, most people thought that the Silkroad story had been put to rest. Apparently, the story is far from over, because Ulbricht’s mother made an appearance at South by Southwest, which takes place annually in Austin, Texas, which is Ulbricht’s hometown.

According to Lyn Ulbricht, the Silkroad case set a new precedent, which lowered the standards of the evidence that is required to obtain search warrants. She said that the case expanded the power that law enforcement authorities have to go through laptops, social media accounts, and email accounts. She believes that these expanded powers will have harmful implications for people’s civil protections, against cases that involve unlawful search and seizures, especially in the digital age.

One of the questions that Ulbricht’s case raises is just how far investigators can go, especially in cases concerning the internet, and if federal agents will have the authority to search or seize a foreign server, if they don’t have a warrant. According to Lyn Ulbricht, a case like her son’s will set a lot of precedents, ad influence a lot of future cases.

Lyn UlbrichtLyn Ulbricht also states that her son did not get a fair trial, because the decks had been stacked against him even before the trial started. She suggested that a powerful senator pressured the prosecution to get a conviction and make an example of her son, that the federal government waited until the last minute to give the defense access to evidence, and that the judge suppressed witnesses and information, that could have been used to challenge the prosecution.

She also stated that witnesses had come forward saying there were numerous people that went by the handle “Dread Pirate Roberts”, who all operated Silkroad, but the prosecutors zeroed in on her son, and unjustly painted him as the kingpin.

Lyn Ulbricht isn’t the only one that thinks that Ross Ulbricht was unfairly targeted as the mastermind behind Silk Road, filmmaker, Alex Winter, who directed “Downloaded,” the documentary about Napster, has directed a new documentary about Silkroad, called “Deep Web,” also feels like Ulbricht wasn’t given a fair trial, and that Silkroad was as much a political statement, as it was a venue to obtain drugs.

With his mom making the news rounds, the documentary Deep Web’s release, and his appeal of the initial judgement against him, Ross Ulbricht’s name will be in the news for some time, which means there are still a few more chapters in the Silkroad story, that are yet to be told.

Mar 17

“Samesamebutdifferent” Pleads Guilty

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

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Peter NashAged 42, Peter Nash pled guilty last week in a US District Court to charges of conspiracy for committing money laundering and narcotics trafficking. His association with the famous online drug marketplace Silk Road is the reason behind these charges. The court documents report Nash to be working as a forum moderator for about ten months beginning from January 2013, with different names such as “Batman73”, “Samesamebutdifferent”, “Anonymousasshit” or “Symmetry”.

Aged 42, Peter Nash pled guiltyAbout a month after the conviction of Ross Ulbricht due to being accused of the founder of Silk Road, the Southern District of New York received the plea. According to the documents presented by the court, the forum moderators were also in charge of monitoring the user activities on discussion forums, offering guidance to users about doing business on Silk Road, and conveying major issues mentioned on these forums to Ulbricht and the site administrators. His expected annual salary for that position is around $50,000 to $75,000.

The court documents explain that Nash was founded by the authorities by attaining the “Weekly Report” (Aug 2, 2013) compiled by him for DPR regarding site activity. When it comes to the narcotics trafficking charges, he has been accused of having mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of several drugs, mainly 5kg of cocaine, 1kg of heroin, 500g of meth and 10g of LSD.

Drugs_silk_2100x1260largerAndrew Michael Jones and Gary Davis, two other people working as site administrators in the Silkroad online marketplace are included in the accusations on U.S. v. Jones. Jones pled guilty in October 2014 and his chats with Ulbricht and the driver’s license were presented as evidence during the proceedings of Ulbricht’s trial. Gary is in Ireland with a pending extradition

Reportedly, Nash denies identifying Dread Pirate Roberts despite being appointed by the latter to handle the chat forums of the Silk Road. Initially, he discovered the site for purchasing drugs and building social connections. Presently, he expresses deep regrets about the matter and feels apologetic for the damages he caused.

Mar 13

Winning Bidders In The Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

557678The US Marshals Service has just announced the outcome of its 3rd Silk Road Bitcoin auction held on Thursday, 5th March. Three secret bidders went home with a total of 50,000 bitcoins, with the highest beneficiary bagging in 27,000 followed by 20,000 and lastly 3,000. This is according to a statement released by USMS official spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue.

Though, the Marshals Service declined to comment on actual monetary value of their winning bids. If current market rates are to go by, then the Silk Road bitcoins are worth $8 million, $5.9 million and $0.9 million respectively.

The Silk Road auction attracted 14 registered bidders with each one of them placing a combined total of 34 bids for the 50,000 bitcoins that were seized from Ross Ulbricht’s PC. As for now, the identities of these winners still remains a mystery since the USMS has not yet released any information pertaining to this. Donahue says that the names will remain concealed for security reasons. However, a New York-based bitcoin exchange company known as it Bit recently announced that it is one of the winners in the 3rd bitcoin auction. They claim to have won the last 3,000 BTC.

Winning Bidders In The Silk Road Bitcoin AuctionThe closed auction process took place from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm EST on March 5, with deadline for registration having been set a little bit earlier on 2nd of the same month. All bitcoins were sold off in 20 unique blocks, consisting of an initial 10 blocks with 2,000 bitcoins and another 10 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins. Those who had any connections to Ross Ulbricht or his Silkroad site were not allowed to contest.

It’s estimated that the total value of bitcoins seized from Ulbricht’s computer and the Silk Road servers is $28.5 million. The government now sits on only 50,000 more bitcoins before all of them are auctioned off to the public.

Mar 11

Silk Road Mastermind Ask For Re-Trial

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

Drugs_silk_2100x1260larger>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

The defense team for Ross Ulbricht who was convicted of creating and operating the Silkroad underground market requested for a retrial. They claim that the United States government used unlawful surveillance to obtain the evidence from the Silkroad server and in addition, they delayed for months before presenting it to the defense.

The statement presented last week in New York South District, show how the prosecutors presented evidence used to convict the Silkroad mastermind and how the jury found him liable of seven offenses. These offenses relates to his association with the Silkroad website, including counts of money laundering conspiracies and narcotics.

Ross Ulbricht, 30 years of age, is yet to be sentenced, but may suffer life imprisonment after a ruling is done later this year. In the meantime, his lawyers are asking the court to reconsider an earlier application to forbid the use of some evidence. The evidence, as the lawyers said, was obtained illegally by the government from the Silkroad server.

The most recent motions have three statements seeking for retrial in the judgment against The Silkroad founder. His lawyers say that Ross was denied his right to a fair and due process trial. The reason for the above is that the government didn’t provide information and evidential material within the timeline required. Secondly, in the addition to the delay of the material made available to Ulbricht lawyers, new queries raised about the surveillance to the Silkroad server which was not well addressed during trial. Lastly, Ulbricht’s attorneys claim that the court should take into consideration a bitcoin expert’s testimony that was not heard during the trial.

The motion reveals that there were documents worth 5000 pages pertaining to a special agent from Homeland Security Investigations- Jared Der-Yeghiayan. The details were availed less than 14 days before trial. Even after reaching the set deadline, 230 new exhibits were brought by the law enforcement. If the defense had been given enough time to analyze the evidence, Ulbricht’s lawyers argue that they would have the ability to suppress the evidence more successfully.

2015-01-15-image-16Text messages between a confidential informant and Jared Der-Yeghiayan, the lawyers argue, demonstrate clearly that the law enforcement was conducting warrant less surveillance on the Silkroad website. The surveillance would enable the security agency to capture details about the origin and what the information passing via the Tor node contained. The confidential informant, in their conversation, told Jared Der-Yeghiayan that he was logging, running and recording all the data from the node as it exited the anonymous network.

This surveillance, Ulbricht’s attorneys says, raises various novel 4th Amendment concerns and gives more evidence that that the law enforcement discovered the information about the Silkroad server through warrant less surveillance. In addition, further messages between the two reveals plans for the law enforcement to launch a denial-of-service attack against Silkroad. The purpose for this was to “listen” to the servers of Silkroad. Though it is unclear from the text messages information whether the law enforcement ever did the DDOS attack, it is clear from the recorded evidence that the DDOS attacks occurred against the Silkroad servers.

Together with the failure of the bitcoin expert to give a testimony as planned, Joshua Dratel, the lead attorney, stated that the case could have been changed remarkably. He hopes that the court will give a chance for a retrial. Prosecutors will be required to give a response to the motions of the defense by April. If she doesn’t agree to order for a retrial, The Judge for The US District, Catherine Forrest will sentence The Silkroad mastermind on 15th May.

Mar 09

SecondMarket Is A Participant In The 3rd Bitcoin Auction

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

123456The U.S. Marshals Service which was given the role of disposing off the virtual currency (Bitcoins) that were seized by the FBI after the black marketplace Silk Road was closed down in 2013 held their third auction on March 5. The bitcoins which were seized during the Silk Road investigation had a higher demand during their third auction as compared to the second auction which took place last December.

SecondMarket Inc. is one of the firms that have expressed interest to participate in this auction. There were 14 participants who participated in the bitcoin auction. Barry Silbert and SecondMarket Inc., Pantera Capital, and Kardashev Capital are some of the participants in the auction.

There were 10 blocks of 3000 and 2000 bitcoins that were available for bid. SecondMarket failed to win blocks in the bid, the managing director at SecondMarket said that they bid for every block but they were not successful at all. In the auction carried out last year, SecondMarket won and was anticipating doing the same in this third auction.

Some of Bitcoin enthusiast Mike Caldwell's coins are pictured at his office in this photo illustration in SandyAlthough bitcoin prices have declined by almost 28% since the last auction, the interest in this currency remains healthy. However, it is anticipated that their prices will increase once the auctions are over.

A total of 173,991 bitcoins were seized during the Silk Road investigation. The U.S.Marshals have successfully sold a total of 130,000 through three different auctions. This means that there are over 44,000 bitcoins that are yet to be sold. The remaining bitcoins will also be sold via auctioning in the near future, however the actual dates have not been released.

Mar 06

The Rise and Fall of The Infamous Darknet Market

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silk Road 2.0. The new site is called Silk Road Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silk Road Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silk Road 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace. <<

Silkroad was an anonymous online black market that was created by Ross William Ulbricht. It was a well-known platform for the sale of illegal and contraband items. Silkroad was the eBay version of the darknet – a huge portion of the internet where users interact through anonymous browsers, encrypted email messages and crypto currencies like bitcoin.

The Beginning of Silkroad

334While Ross Ulbricht grew up in Austin, Texas, he never showed any signs that he was aspiring to be the boss of a drug cartel. He was an Eagle Scout and a very intelligent student whose SAT scores earned him a scholarship at University of Texas, Dallas. In graduate school he joined the libertarians and developed a strong aversion for government interference. In 2010, he began growing hallucinogenic fungi which he hoped to sell underground through Silkroad.

While the ‘shrooms where growing up, Ulbricht began to learn computer programming. After getting stuck midway, he called on his college friend Richard Bates who was working as a programmer at eBay. He hid the Silkroad project on Tor browser –the anonymous browsing system developed by the U.S. Navy. To evade both government and banking oversight or intrusion, Ulbricht set up Silkroad to accept bitcoin.

After months of intense development, Silkroad was launched in February 2011. It was hosted on the Tor network. Ulbricht was known by the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts”. Within a short time, the site had many vendors and buyers. Silkroad had a ranking system that ranked vendors and helped buyers to screen out vendors with bad feedback. Ulbricht became rich quite fast because he charged about 10 to 12 percent on every transaction.

images112345Silkroad made Ulbricht a multi-millionaire at 29. Through his illicit drug trade from February 2011 till July 2013, over 1.2 million transactions took place on the site. Total revenue obtained from these transactions was over 9.5 million bitcoins with a total commission of over 600,000 bitcoins. This provided Ulbricht with a commission of about 80 million dollars.

The Fall

After the Silk Road website was made public in 2011, Senator Charles Schumer requested for it to be shut down by Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). From that time, the activities on Silkroad, as well as the moves made by Ulbricht, were closely monitored. In May 2013, Silkroad was taken down temporarily by a DDoS attack. In October 2013, Ross Ulbricht was arrested at the Glen Park library in San Francisco.

He was indicted for drug trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, and computer hacking. The FBI sized 26,000 bitcoins from Silkroad accounts which were sold in June 2014. During the trial in January 2015, Ulbricht said he had transferred control of the site to other people shortly after founding it.

Conclusion

The biography and journals about Silkroad kept by Ulbricht on his laptop provided sufficient evidence to convict him of several criminal offenses. He kept an Excel spreadsheet of his earnings and documented all his business transactions. In February 2015, the jury found him guilty of running a criminal enterprise, for which he may be sentenced to 30 years to life.

Mar 06

Silk Road 3.0 – Another Drug E-Commerce

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the mean time Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

>> Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace <<

It seems like the Silk Road is a notorious darknet marketplace that people might not soon forget. After the original Silkroad was closed down by authorities in October 2013, and Silkroad 2.0 faced a similar fate late last year during Operation Onymous, Silk Road 3.0 is already open for business.

557678In fact, the third incarnation of Silkroad opened hours after the authorities took down Silkroad 2.0, welcoming its visitors to “Silk Road Reloaded” on its homepage. In the true spirit of its fallen predecessors, the site is essentially a drug-dealing bonanza that has broad offerings of illegal drugs. However, is Silk Road 3.0 another drug e-commerce?

Just like its predecessors, the online black market Silk Road 3.0 allows drug dealers to meet drug users in an anonymous platform where the purchase decisions were relatively risk-free. The Silkroad Reloaded even perpetuates the libertarian views popularized by Ulbricht, the founder of the original Silkroad.

The success of the first Silkroad was a first in the online illicit market, since it was able to handle business worth over $1 billion. Silkroad 2.0 was also quite successful given its ability to make about $8 million a month for about a year before it succumbed to law enforcement efforts to close it down.

567When the Silk Road Reloaded gained popularity after Silkroad 2.0 was shut down, there was a consensus that it would not become another drug e-commerce site like its predecessors did, but this remains to be seen.

At its launch, the Silk Road Reloaded was a Tor hidden site that many believed would not stand the test of time. However, it has recently switched to the use of I2P, which it believes to be more secure than the Tor network, which was used by both of its predecessors. Nevertheless, its singular focus on being a choice market for illegal drugs could very well make it another major drug e-commerce.

Mar 02

Indicted Silk Road Employee Has engaged In Plea Discussions

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silk Road Darknet Market has spawned after the demise of Silkroad 2.0. The new site is called Silkroad Reloaded and is utilizing different technology than its predecessors therefore a new guide for Silkroad Reloaded will be coming soon. In the meantime Agora Marketplace is still alive and kicking bigger than ever with more listings than Silkroad 2.0.

Click here to find the best alternative: Agora Marketplace

News coming in is that a former Silk Road employee, currently serving time in prison, has decided to negotiate a potential plea bargain with US prosecutors in exchange for a review of his criminal sentence. 42-yr. old Peter Nash is accused of being the chief moderator of Silk Road, he now faces life imprisonment if convicted by the U.S. federal prison.

Indicted Silk Road Employee Has engaged In Plea Discussions

Nash, who was also formerly employed as a behavioral scientist at Wacol Prison in Queensland, went by the pseudonyms of Same same butdifferent and Batman73 on Silk Road site. After being charged, he was extradited to US and now serves sentence at the NY Metropolitan Correctional Center, he is awaiting a plea deal or trial for the case to be relooked.

The man is charged with a number of crimes including computer hacking, money laundering and narcotics conspiracy, which by itself carries a maximum life imprisonment or minimum 10yrs. sentence if found guilty. He was indicted of conspiring to sell large quantities of illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine through the darknet marketplace Silk Road.On March 13, Peter Nash is awaited to appear in a courtin Manhattan.

Indicted Silk Road EmployeeIn a recent court filing heard by District Court Judge Thomas, the assistant US State advocate Daniel Noble mentioned that the mentioned parties have been participating in plea discussions, but requires some extra time in order to reach a final disposition. It’s yet to be decided whether the judge will give this former Silk Road operative and his legal team additional time to prepare their plea bargain or not, all eyes are on the courts as they are expected to make a decision on this matter soon. Though it’s very unlikely that the charges will be dropped, if they argue their case well then Peter Nash may get 10 yrs. instead of life in prison.