Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbrict Sentenced To Life In Prison Without Parole

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.

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

Ross Ulbricht

News has emerged that the founder of the Silk Road website, Ross Ulbrict, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the role that he played in creating one of the most infamous websites to have ever existed anywhere on the Internet. This was a website that was at the heart of the online drugs trade as well as containing classified ads for a number of other highly illegal activities between 2011 and when it was closed down by the FBI some three years later.

During that time it is alleged that Ulbrict personally made in the region of $18 million while the website facilitated the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in goods, but now that stands for nothing with him locked up behind bars for the rest of his life. His charges? Guilty of computer hacking, money laundering, and drug trafficking and all due to various classified ads that appeared on his website from people around the world.

Ross William Ulbricht and Joshua DratelThe site itself was relatively well known for some time and indeed it could be argued that it was one of the most famous websites to have emerged from what is known as the Deep Web. This is a part of the Internet that was actually generated by people such as the CIA, but which has now been exploited by criminal masterminds around the world. The key thing with the website is that it offers you a high degree of anonymity allowing you to take part in various activities with you being virtually untraceable.

We say virtually untraceable as Ulbrict himself has become a classic example of what can still happen to you even if you do take part in various activities on the Dark Net. In order to access the website you have to go through something called TOR and it bounces your location all over the globe so that nobody knows where you really are. This has actually been used by activists and journalists in various countries to great effect, but it has also been exploited by those that wish to commit crimes.

In the case of Ulbrict he was guilty of creating his own downfall after posting his email address on a normal forum linked to the online virtual currency called Bitcoin. This then led to his arrest in a library in San Francisco after some clever detective work from analysts in the US linked that email to an account name that had been promoting Silk Road elsewhere.

But what does all of this mean for the Internet? Well, there are some that argue he should not have been jailed as he merely created and hosted a website that others then exploited, but there is still the small matter of him earning a substantial sum of money from the website. He may not have been directly involved in the drugs trade, but he provided dealers with the vehicle that allowed them to carry out their trade with less expectation of law enforcement agencies beating down their door.

The sentence handed down to Ulbricht, in many peoples eyes, is extremely harsh. Killers, rapists and and pedophiles get a second chance at life but make a website that is a market for drugs that are currently illegal and you go away and will never see the free world again. These are the risks that the owners of these websites face.

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Silk Road 2.0 BUSTED!

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that the owner was arrested and it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0 but is just not as famous.

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

Silk Road Seizure Screen

Benthall, the alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0, is being charged with a ton of charges including conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents, money laundering, conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking and conspiring to commit computer hacking. With these charges, he could face a life sentence, which will be very tough for this 26 year old tech whiz.

Silk Road 2.0 has been operating since just after the closure of the original Silk Road back in October 2013. After the closure of the original Silk Road a swarm of new black market websites sprung up including the Silk Road 2.0, some of the other biggest markets are Agora Marketplace and Evolution Marketplace with Agora Marketplace offering the best feedback and also posting more listing than Silk Road 2.0.

Even though Silk Road 2.0 has been shut down there are tons of other black market websites that do exactly the same thing, this is just one fish in an ocean. By making this bust, law enforcement look like they have had a win to the public but I think it will not even make a dent in the new way of black markets. There will probably be a Silk Road 3.0 within weeks just like there was a Silk Road 2.0 within weeks of the original Silk Road being shut down.

I know that Law Enforcement cannot simply look the other way and do nothing about these black market websites, mainly due to all of the pressure from above about their “War on drugs” that has done nothing but fail, but they may need to soon ask themselves some questions that Law Enforcement probably don’t want to answer.

40 years of the war on drugs Infographics

“What happens if they did shut down all of the black market websites and those drug deals all went back to the streets?”

“Is it safer for those deals to be done over the internet and via the post or in a dark alley or ghetto and running the risk of being assaulted or killed over a substance abuse problem?”

The real way forward should be to thing about treating the problem as a health issue and not a criminal one. If you treat the addiction and take away the demand, or at least drastically reduce it, then there will not be the problem we have today. Can you imagine if they spent all of the money they do today on the “War on drugs” and spent it on treatment?

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

pharma

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Mt. Gox – $400 Million Bitcoin Theft Scandal

Something mysterious just recently happened to one of the most prominent names in the world of Bitcoin; Mt. Gox apparently vanished in thin air like a phantom. A document was leaked regarding the matter, claiming the disappearance of 744,000 customer Bitcoins along with it. Today’s Bitcoin community continues to reel and is still trying to find out what exactly happened. The accusations, rants, and conspiracy theories have only just begun. One thing is for sure, though, this serves as a wake up call for anybody who thought that Bitcoin will have an easy road to general acceptance.

Mt Gox Logo
Tokyo-based Mt. Gox started as Magic: The Gathering card exchange site. As the ardor over Bitcoin had started spreading around the middle part of 2010, the site eventually rebranded to be Bitcoin trade, one of the forerunners of the service. Mt. Gox served as a get-in-the-middle fro those who wanted to magically transform their Bitcoins into much more liquid currencies such as yen or dollars. Also, it had its very own custom wallet software which enabled users to easily manage their Bitcoins over the cloud. Based on the leaked document, this was where things began crumbling off.

The cracks began emerging the early part of this month right when Mt. Gox decided to suspend withdrawals with the claim of serious flaws regarding how Bitcoin protocol confirms transactions. Mt. Gox mentioned that it was very much possible to essentially have a Bitcoin re-spent simply by renaming the whole transaction just before it becamed synced toward the block chain (which means after it received verification.) The Bitcoin Foundation speedily contradicted Mt. Gox to point out that Bitcoin was never really at fault. The thing they so-call “transaction malleability” issues was known. However, it didn’t get enough attention to be considered as a noteworthy problem. The Bitcoin Foundation then scapegoated Mt. Gox’s utterly-customized wallet software for having compounded the bug. Ultimately, this might have been the only thread that led to the unraveling of Mt. Gox when pulled.

Mt Gox Got Robbed

Due to the faulty tracking of the software, Mt. Gox did not really hold the Bitcoins it thought to have. The stolen ones were steadily siphoned off straight from the hot wallet of Mt. Gox — the coins put to use in order to proceed with transactions. Many believe that most of Mt. Gox’s funds were in cold storage when they were all safe from the whole transaction malleability perforation. The leaked documentation claims that cold storage got wiped out, too, which simply means Mt. Gox was automatically transferring coins into the wallet as required.

The ascertainment of the leaked information’s validity will remain at hold until someone directly from Mt. Gox provides udpates, which actually makes the current situation sound worse all the more. Mt. Gox’s wallet software drawbacks prove to be severe with the 744,408 Bitcoins stolen through the course of numerous years. For now, Mt. Gox has decided to suspend operations causing the site users to cultivate a skeptical outlook, doubting that they will ever retrieve their precious Bitcoins. Virtual currencies indeed hold a vast range of appallingly negative contingencies.

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Silk Road Attacked By Hackers!

It was not until Thursday morning 13th February 2014 when the Bitcoin Community found themselves at the hands of mischievous hackers. On this fateful day, it was announced that Silk Road had been hacked and an estimated 4.474 Bitcoins were stolen which roughly worth $2.7 million, as per the time of the malicious attack. The heist, as some people term the attack, is said to have been caused by the flaw in the Bitcoin Processing Protocol itself. The protocol is best known as the Transaction Malleability. Silk Road is not the first victim of such attacks. Earlier on February 5, MtGox, which is the largest trading market for Bitcoins alongside other markets, shut down withdrawals of Bitcoins all accounting it to Transaction malleability.

Bitcoin hackers
Is Transaction Malleability to be Blamed?

Transaction Malleability is a bug that is in-built in the Bitcoin Transaction Protocol. It is simply when a unique transaction ID is slightly altered before it is confirmed with the rest of the servers. On Wednesday, one of the site administrators attested that a bunch of hackers exploited the Transaction Malleability loophole to withdraw millions of cash from the site just as the administrators were carrying out maintenance that required the huge amount of Bitcoins to be placed in a vulnerable location. Defcon said that, there was complete loss of cash from the escrow holdings. He continued saying that the attack hit them at the worst time as they were planning to re-launch the brand new auto-Finalize and Dispute Center. And this would need the entire Bitcoin community’s full balance in the hot storage as per their projections based on the order finalization volume.

Actually, Bitcoin is an online currency, decentralized, free from either government, group or personal control. Due to this, people all over the world can send this currency to one another without any transaction fee involved and without any 3rd party interference. This is what made Bitcoins ideal for trade in illicit items like drugs and even forged documents. That is why the use Bitcoins is facing strong criticism from various governments. However online selling sites like the Oversock.com has already accepted the use of this currency. FBI shut down the old Silk Road last October and arrested its alleged boss Ross Ulbricht seizing over 144,000 Bitcoins that was valued at $28 million by then. This neverstopped Silk Road momentum as the new Silk Road 2.0 was created. This is the one that was attacked on Thursday.

Silk Road Hacked
Although this latest attack has raised eyebrows over Transaction Malleability, the condition has been there since 2011. Experts perceive that, best practices may be employed to eliminate the Vulnerability of Bitcoins. The good news is that, the admins may be able to recover the stolen funds. They have posted a series of accounts they believe to belong to the hackers mostly from France and Australia. The admin has told the users to contribute any tangible information that may lead to recovery of the funds. For the people that lost bitcoins in this heist they will be repaid via credit on all of their fees until the balance is paid back. This is not what a lot of people want but at least it show the commitment to rectify the situation and try to keep the site going. Along with this repayment they are also looking at new ways to handle the processing of payments so this won’t happen again.
If you are unsure about Silk Road and want to wait for it to settle down you may want to check out Agora Market. They have been gaining a good reputation although it is still pretty much the same thing as Silk Road but smaller. There is a site about it here with the Agora Market url.
Remember to always make yourself anonymous!

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The Arrest Of Bitcoins Vice Chairman.

BitInstant’s chief executive officer, together with Robert Faiella, has been arrested and has been charged with plotting to commit the felony of money laundering. According to federal prosecutor, Shrem purchased drugs personally on Silk Road while fully aware of the web-site’s drug trafficking activities. According to the department of Justice, the two were charged with selling a million dollars worth of Bitcoins to individuals who attempted to buy as well as sell drugs on a black market website.

Earlier this month, prosecutors announced that they had forfeited $28m worth of bitcoins that had been impounded from Silk Road. Silk Road is a secret marketplace which has the reputation of being used to buy and sell drugs among other things.

Shrem heads BitInstant, which is bankrolled by the Winkloves twins. Last year, the two pumped in more than $1.5 million in this company. Following the arrest of Shrem and Faiella, a spot check revealed that the BitInstant website remained offline on Monday morning.
Shrem also serves as the Bitcoin Foundation’s vice chairman. Only last weekend, he was featured as a key speaker at the Bitcoin conference that was held in Miami.

According to one news release that came from the justice department, Shrem was seized in New York at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, and later charged with the crime of money laundering.
U.S Drug Enforcement Administration’s James J. Hunt, said the following in the news release:

“The charges announced today depict law enforcement’s commitment to identifying those who promote the sale of illegal drugs throughout the world.”

He further added that the two, while hiding behind their computers, knowingly contributed to, and facilitated, anonymous drug sales as a result of which they earned significant profits.

In October last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, closed Silk Road and captured Bitcoins worth millions of dollars. Silk Road, the famous online black market, helps people to buy and sell unlawful goods such as guns and drugs.
Since being busted, the FBI has been using the records belonging to Silk Road to track down other people who are also involved in the illegal activities. It is that information that probably led the law enforcers to catch Faiella and Shrem.

Charges preferred on the duo

Faiella, 52, a native of Cape Coral, and Shrem, aged 24 and a native of New York, were both charged with one count, and that is conspiring to commit the crime of money laundering. Also, they were charged with another count of operating a money transmitting business that was unlicensed. The maximum jail term carried by these charges is 25 years. Shrem faces an extra 5 years in jail, after failing to report a suspicious activity.

The justice department says that Faiella secretly operated a bitcoin exchange on the online black market, Silk Road. After he received Bitcoin orders, he would go ahead and fill these orders through BitInstant. After that, he would sell them at a profit to Silk Road.
Being the CEO as well as BitInstant’s chief compliance officer, shrem was allegedly aware of the reasons for Faiella’s exchanges. Additionally, the government alleges that Shrem personally bought drugs from Silk Road.

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Silk Road Mega Security Upgrade Complete!

The head of the Silk Road, Dread Pirate Roberts, has taken some initiative and don’t a full scale upgrade of security and redundancy to protect the site, users and users bitcoins from hackers and the authorities.

This comes at a time when users of these online black market sites are feeling extremely vulnerable because the closure of the two main competitors Black Market Reloaded and Sheep Marketplace. These both closed and people lost a ton of money in the closure.

The new upgrades to Silk Road have been based around making the site more secure and trying to safeguard against closure by the authorities. Apparently Dread Pirate Roberts  has set up a fail over system by uploading portions of the site to hundreds of servers around the world so if one goes down or is seized by the authorities then it can go straight back within minutes as if it never went down at all. It is almost like having splinter cells set up everywhere so even if they think they took one down then another is straight back up and in its place. Dread pirate Roberts wrote “They have sunken one ship, but now they have awoken the Kraken”

Silk Road Security Upgrade Complete

As some people are probably aware that some other sites where actually the ones closing themselves down and running with the money so they are probably thinking that they could just do the same, well they could but I doubt it. The reason I say this is that as they are now the biggest online black market in the world again, virtually no competitors, have the best reputation, the most morals, the best security ever now seen in one of these sites and a massive community they stand to make far more money by staying open than anything we have ever seen before. It will dwarf any previous site.

>>> If wanting to visit Silk Road then you will want to follow this guide by clicking here. <<<

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Silk Road Undergoing Upgrades – Still Up

Silk Road Anonymous Marketplace is undergoing upgrades to the system in the wake of Sheep Marketplace and Black Market Reloaded going down. The reason for the upgrades is to cope with the increased traffic received since BMR and Sheep have gone down.

Sheep Marketplace went down a couple of days ago after it claimed that a security leak contributed to someone hacking them and stealing all of the bitcoins which are rumored to be around the $40 million mark. Many are thinking that the whole site was just a scam as many vendors apparently were offering massive discounts just before closing prompting many people to believe it all was just an elaborate hoax to get more bitcoins deposited int he system before they all took the money and ran.

Black Market Reloaded is now reportedly closing as well because the administrator says that because Sheep Marketplace is closing then it will not be able to guarantee the anonymity of its users with the new influx of users that will come over from Sheep marketplace.

It seems as though Silk Road 2.0 has risen to the top of the tables to be the biggest black market website in only around 1 month. This also enforces the fact that you want to take your online anonymity dead serious and take every possible precaution you can to be untraceable and encrypt everything.

Sheep marketplace down

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The New Silk Road – How To Stay Anonymous!

Be Anonymous When On Silk Road

Well as you may or may have not heard, Silk Road Anonymous market place is back up and running. As it has just opened a day ago it will take a few days to a week or so for it to start functioning properly but there are already sellers listing there. They have really taken into consideration the recent events with the demise of the original Silk Road and invested a lot of time and money into making it more secure and anonymous.

You too should learn from the events of the past and take every precaution possible to remain anonymous and encrypt everything. While you visit these illegal black market websites that sell every drug imaginable, you are taking a risk of being tacked and your every move traced by others which can lead to information theft, your bitcoins being stolen or even prosecution by the authorities.

To help minimize these risks there are a few simple steps you should take to lower the chance of detection which can prevent you getting into a bad situation that you are stuck in. The best method is prevention. I have gone through a number of these methods in the “guide to the Silk Road” which you can follow by clicking here. It contains the current way to get to the Silk Road Anonymous Marketplace, the new Silkroad URL and the steps you should take to remain anonymous. The most useful piece of advice I can give you all is to start using a VPN for everything you do on the internet, this will encrypt everything you do so no one (including your internet service provider) knows anything about what you are doing online and will also hide your IP making you anonymous or even invisible thereby hiding your identity and location. After the alleged mastermind of the original Silk Road got caught and we now know that everything we do on the net can be recorded and traced, you should take every possible precaution there is to make sure you remain free and happy.

If you want to also check out Silk Roads biggest competitor the click here to learn more about Black Market Reloaded.

If you also know some useful tactics to hide your identity and remain anonymous then please leave a comment and I will review and possibly include in my guide.

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Silk Road Is Back Online! – We Rise Again!

Yes you heard right, Silk Road is back online after just over one month down. In late September 2013 the alleged mastermind of the original Silk Road Anonymous marketplace was arrested in San Francisco at a coffee shop going about his business. Well it took the various government agencies over two and a half years to shut the biggest online black market down and a ton of money but the Silk Road Marketplace is back online after only around 5 weeks down. To even rub it in the noses of the authorities that shut down the original they have made the login screen a copy of the one put up by the US Federal Government when they were boasting about closing it with a slight change as seen bellow.The New Silk Road Log In Screen

Some of you may be asking “How can Silk Road be back up if the alleged creator is behind bars?” The answer is quite simple. A group of the best sellers and original administrator of the site banded together and put a lot of hard work into creating a new and improved version of the original Silk Road. They have endeavored to make it more secure and friendlier by supporting various charities and programs while also trying to beef up security and counter measures.

One of the big improvements to the system is a safe guard for user’s bitcoins in the event of another shut down due to the government seizing the site. They have programmed in a way for you to retrieve your bitcoins on the unfortunate event of the new Silk Road being busted and shut down.

One of the biggest obstacles for the new Silk Road will be to win back its previous users, especially those who lost bitcoins in the shutdown. Since the demise of original site there have been many new black market websites try to take the throne including Black Market Reloaded, Atlantis, Project Black Flag and Sheep to name a few. Atlantis and Project Black Flag were both short lived and also took everyones bitcoins which instilled even more of a sense of untrustworthiness to the sites as those who lost out in the demise of the original Silk Road then also see the same thing happen to others on competing sites.

Black Market Reloaded Logo

The biggest new online black market site that has stood up the most is Black Market Reloaded as it has proven so far to be reliable and the size of the marketplace is the largest of the new sites. The one big draw back for BMR is that it had a big security breach in October where someone published some of its source code and the site was thought to have gone down until the creator thought that it was fixable so it went back online. This also has made many people think weather this site will leave them vulnerable one day which does not really instill a sense of security. An added downside is the unrestriction of items sold on BMR which Silk Road will hold the moral high ground on this point as it does not allow the sale of weapons, child porn and many other seedy goods.

Now that Silk Road has re-emerged with an increased security, better morals and a way for users to get their money back if the site gets shut down again I think that this will soon become the biggest online black market drugs bazaar once again. If you want to see the guide on how to get to the new Silk Road then just click here.

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Silk Road Shut Down!

Click here to visit read about the Silk Road Successor called Black Market Reloaded.

Silk Road anonymous marketplace was shut down on the end of September 2013. The FBI have arrested a man they believe to be the mastermind behind the biggest online illegal drug website that have ever existed and the site has been shut down. The site was apparently only shut down due to the arrest and not because of the system security. It is believed the mastermind known as Dread Pirate Roberts slipped up while posting programming questions on forums not being anonymous. I am not going to name the accused because i believe in “innocent until proven guilty” but you can find names and photos on the net easily. He is being charged with drug charges and possibly murder for hire charges among others.  If you try to visit the silk road you will see this screen.

Silk road closed

While Silk Road has been flourishing there have been a few other sites come up the ranks and now that the market leader is gone there is going to be a big move made by the up and comers. The next biggest player now is Black Market Reloaded which is very similar and you can click here for a complete step by step guide on how to get to Black Market Reloaded and stay anonymous. I would like to highlight the point that it was apparently old fashioned police work and a slip up that brought Silk Road down, if you are doing anything on any of these sites you need to take every precaution possible to avoid detection and not just while you are visiting these underground black markets. Stay anonymous as much as you can while doing anything on the internet so you don’t slip up.

 

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