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 <<

bitcoins seized
$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.

bitcoin
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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Arrests Continues Even after the Shutdown of Silk Road

Arrests related to Silkroad continue as the extradition of two members of Italian Mafia Brussels to the US has been approved by Romanian authorities.
Arrests related to Silkroad continue as the extradition of two members of Italian Mafia Brussels to the US has been approved by Romanian authorities.

More than three years after the original Silkroad dark net marketplace was taken down together with its founder Ross William Ulbricht, the online drug hub is still making the news.

Recently, the extradition of two cyber criminals who were key members of the Italian Mafia Brussels (IMB) has been given the go-ahead by Romanian authorities.

Italian Mafia Brussels was a dark web vendor that dealt in the selling of drugs through Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0.

The majority of the drugs they sold were MDMA and ecstasy.

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 <<

Six members of the Italian Mafia Brussels were arrested in Belgium, the US, and Romania. All the six are now in custody awaiting trial.
Six members of the Italian Mafia Brussels were arrested in Belgium, the US, and Romania. All the six are now in custody awaiting trial.

The IMB was taken down through a joint international police operation.

The two key members of the organization, Filip Simion, and Leonardo Cristea were arrested by the police back in May 2016 during simultaneous early morning raids in Bucharest, Romania.

Filip and Leonardo are two among the six members of the Italian Mafia Brussels who have been arrested this year.

This collaboration between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Europol was carried out in the United States, France, Belgium, and Romania.

The operation also led to the arrest of Ymran Djavatkhanov and Andy Nestor, who were suspected to be members of the illegal dark net organization and have been named in the US indictment.

Filip Simon and Leonardo Cristea are currently awaiting trial in the United States.

They will be tried for money laundering and illegal importation of controlled substances.

If they are indeed found guilty, they may face a maximum sentence of 20 years.

On the other hand, Ymran Djavatkhanov and Andy Nestor will be tried in Belgium because the US is not going to pursue their extradition.

The IMB operated storefronts on several dark web platforms including the Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 where bitcoin was the means of payment.

To avoid online surveillance, they employed some encrypted communication services such as WhatsApp, RedPhone, and Signal while using marketplaces on the Tor network.

According to the US Department of Justice, the investigation of the Italian Mafia Brussels and its relationship to Silkroad began in 2013 after a package containing MDMA was caught by the authorities.

The package was bound for Colorado from Belgium and contained more than 60 grams of MDMA.

The recipient of the package stated that they had bought the drugs from Italian Mafia Brussels.

A number of businesses also complained about receiving returned packages from the United States.

The businesses claimed that they had not sent the said packages.

The IMB operated by sending packages to their Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 customers mostly in the United States and Canada.

These packages were made to look like they were sent from legal businesses.

The organization carefully chose businesses that dealt with products that were somewhat similar to the drugs.

From February to September 2014, the authorities in Belgium confiscated a number of packages from the organization.

These packages contained invoices similar to those of a legitimate company.

The investigations following these discoveries including the Silkroad investigations were vital in the tracking and subsequent arrest of Fillip Simion and his fellow group members.

Simion was tracked physically by the Romanian Federal Police and the Belgian Federal Judicial Police.

The information was uncovered in 2013 and 2014 after Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 were shut down; this incident also shed light on the operations of IMB.

The recent spate of arrests and convictions related to the Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 dark net markets can largely be attributed to the cooperation between international law enforcement agencies.

While these arrests are taking place, Silkroad and Silkroad 2.0 became defunct, and this is a great step against illegal underground operations, but they have done little to stop the online drug dealing operations.

According to recent surveys, dark net markets have steadily increased their customer base despite the revamped crackdown on illegal platforms by law enforcement agencies.

Due to the convenience of the dark net markets such as Silkroad, more people are using these platforms to gain access to drugs and other illegal products or services.

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Coen Brothers to Write the Script for the Silk Road Movie

Films about Cyber-crime or hacking are not in the mainstream nowadays. However, in recent years films with internet security themes are getting their fair share of high-end movie screen time. In the last two years, a couple of notable films with the same storylines are “Blackhat”, and Oliver Stone’s NSA breach biopic “Snowden”.

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 <<

Ethan and Joel Coen at the premiere of Hail, Caesar! in Los Angeles on
Ethan and Joel Coen at the premiere of Hail, Caesar! in Los Angeles on

According to reports, an upcoming film is going to add to this list. The film, entitled “Dark Web”, this film is based on a wired two-part account on the Silk Road and its convicted founder Ross William Ulbricht.

Fox Studios who has exclusive rights to the story have enlisted the services of two well-established and high profile film screenwriters, directors and editors in Hollywood; the Coen Brothers.

Ethan and Joel Coen are going to write the screenplay for the Silk Road film, but at the moment it is not known whether they will also direct the movie.

It would definitely be a great news if the brothers are directing the movie as well, but they are known to write films not as directors.

The Coen brothers have an enviable list of film-related achievements behind them spanning several decades including but not limited to “The Big Lebowski”, “True Grit”, “No country for Old Men”, “Fargo”, “O Brother”, “Where Art Thou?”, “Bridge of Spies” and “Hail Caesar”.

The brothers earned Oscars for their parts in “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men”.

As such, the expectations for this film will definitely be high. Silk Road, on which the film will be based, is the highly controversial online drug dealing dark web forum founded and operated by Ross William Ulbricht.

Silkroad was originally founded in February 2011, and derived its name from an old historical network of trade routes used between many countries .
Silkroad was originally founded in February 2011, and derived its name from an old historical network of trade routes used between many countries .

Silk Road was established in February 2011 and until his arrest in October 2013 by the FBI, Ulbricht operated the site under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole; a sentence that many people felt was unduly harsh.

According to investigations by the FBI, Silk Road facilitated anonymous channels for dealers to transact illegal goods and services most of which were drugs.

The film is set to dwell largely on the aspects of the dark web platforms.

According to some reports, the film will feature the alleged purchase of special services such as contract killings, an accusation that the FBI pointed at Dread Pirate Roberts.

Many Silk Road users have since slammed these allegations on online forums as false.

They deny the existence of such kinds of services claiming that Silk Road only facilitated the buying and selling of drugs.

Currently, the true inner details of the Silk Road and Dread Pirate Roberts are still murky.

As such, it is very likely that the film may not be 100% accurate as in the case with the majority of Hollywood movies that are based on true stories.

The aforementioned “Snowden” was the recent testament to this.

Also, the film will feature a part of the story that law enforcement agencies would rather prefer to stay low profiled.

Ross Ulbricht was not the only individual to be implicated in the Silk Road.

Two federal agents including Carl Force, a former DEA agent, were also charged with extorting and laundering bitcoins from the Silk Road platform and Ulbricht himself.

It is important to note that this is not the beginning of the work on this film.

The project started back in 2013, where Chernin Entertainment and Fox Studios enlisted Dennis Lehane to write the script for the movie. At the time it was titled Silk Road.

Lehane himself is a bestselling author and has films such as “Shutter Island”, “Gone Baby Gone”, and “Mystic River” under his name.

It is not clear what exactly prompted the changes or even if the new script is a continuation of Lehane’s work.

Fortunately for Dark Web, the Silk Road saga is still a developing story as a new Silk Road is currently in operation despite its founder being in prison.

Also, Ulbricht is still appealing the sentence with a major focus on the discrepancies in his trial process.

The film is still more than a year off with expected release dates in late 2017 or early 2018.

Therefore, the Coen Brothers still have an interesting range of directions in which to take the film depending on any developments within that given period of time.

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