Ulbricht Admits Building Silk Road To College Friend

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. <<

Ross Ulbricht It is now emerging, that Ross Ulbricht got help with the construction of the Silk Road website. Richard Bates, Ulbricht’s college friend testified in the case against the alleged owner of the darknet bazaar that he helped put up what was once the largest illegal-drug marketplace on the internet.

Bates said he helped with the coding for two years between 2010 and 2011. He however, claims he initially had no information of what he was working on. Despite what he terms as Ulbricht’s partial disclosure, he kept meeting the alleged Silkroad mastermind often especially during the busy construction period. He also admits that he continued to offer coding advice even after Ulbricht had revealed that the website was going to be an online bazaar for illicit drugs.

Ross William Ulbricht Founder of Silk Road MrketplaceBates, who now works for eBay as a software engineer however, admits to more than just helping code for the website. He admits that he bought drugs on the Silk Road as well. Bates even confessed that Ulbricht did hand him a black garbage bag with psychedelic mushroom. Bates’ testimony now contradicts opening arguments made by the defendant’s attorney, Joshua Dratel. Dratel informed the court that Ulbricht had long handed over the reins of the Silkroad by the time the authorities allege the illicit transactions took place.

According to these arguments, Ulbricht is nothing more than a “fall guy” who developed an “economic experiment” whose stresses, he is made to bear albeit unfairly. It is believed that the darknet bazaar handled transactions in contraband valued at about $1.2 billion.

FBI agents questioned Bates back in 2013 following Ulbricht’s arrest. He now claims he lied to the agents during this initial round of questioning especially concerning his involvement in the Silk Road saga. He admitted in court to buying ecstasy, marijuana, mushrooms, Vicodin and even antibiotics through the bazaar.

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The Silk Road Trial Denotes A “Bad PR Moment” For Bitcoin

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. <<

Ross UlbrichtProsecutors in the Silk Road case look likely to use the cryptic and pseudonymous nature of bitcoin to their advantage as the prosecution of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silkroad mastermind strides into its second week. Washington D.C. based cryptocurrency legislation expert Jared Marx saysbitcoin’s complexity provides just the right ammunition that the prosecution needs. Mr Marx thinks the prosecution will try to convince the jury that the anonymity that comes with transferring bitcoin and the fact that such transfers do not need banks associates the cryptocurrency with illegal dealings.

During period of the dark net bazaar’s operation, it did allegedly process transactions worth more than $1 billion in illegal goods transactions. Moreover, all these transactions were completed in bitcoin. The fact that this cryptocurrency traded online owns no allegiance to any central bank and that it is difficult to trace could not have come at a more inopportune time.

Despite bitcoin transactions’ shady nature, Mr Marx still thinks bitcoin is mature enough to fend off any ‘bad PR moment’ that the Silk Road trial brings its way. According to him, there are two faces to this situation: The effects of this trial on bitcoin as a brand and the regulations as they stand now. Bitcoin may be associated with illegal activity but policy makers had figured this out long ago.

BitcoinDespite this general belief and the fact that bitcoin is not the focus of the Silk Road alleged mastermind’s trial, it remains a vital resource in this case. All transactions made in bitcoin as well as public records related to this currency may offer crucial evidence for both sides of the divide. So far, the prosecution has not presented in court specific bitcoin transaction. There however is no doubt that they will. They however face an uphill task explaining all this new information concerning bitcoin and hoping the jury will buy it. This is especially so, considering that opposing sides of the case cannot seem to agree on the definition of technical terms.

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Trial Of The Alleged Operator Of The Silk Road Anonymous Marketplace Starts

ANNOUNCEMENT: Well it has happened! Another Silkroad 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 Silkroad 2.0.

Silk Road Marketplace

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

Trial of alleged operator of Silk Road anonymous marketplace starts and it will be an unprecedented trial. Accused person is the one who created an online marketplace that offers unlawful items. After many months of delays, Silkroad trial got underway in Manhattan.

This case is being called first of its kind and a very significant case. Two reasons why this case is so unprecedented are that the government has never before used money laundering to include digital currency. Also, never before have charges been levelled against a web host for creating a website. Most people think that web hosts enjoy protection from the communication act.

Prosecutors may not find it easy to prosecute the operator because they will have to prove that he (Ross Ulbricht) is actually Dread Pirates Roberts who created and owned an online black market site called Silkroad that was taken down by Feds in 2013.

Ross UlbrichtUlbricht faces charges that include money laundering and hacking as well as trafficking of narcotics. He pleaded he is not guilty of these charges and he has also consistently denied that he is in fact Dread Pirates Roberts.When the trial got going, strong statements were issued by both defense and prosecution. Ulbricht’s defense lawyer however had to concede that Ulbricht actually founded the Silk Road but that he had given up control once he was arrested in 2013.

Prosecutors claimed that Ross had been caught in the act of running the Silk Road. They seemed determined on showing that the Silk Road was hell-bent on staying anonymous and that it could only be accessed in a special way that hid users’ IP addresses.

What’s more, since Silkroad was accepting digital currency like Bitcoin, government also expanded the act of money laundering to include digital currency.

Ulbricht’s lawyer had argued that bitcoin is not real money but Judge Forrest threw this argument out saying that bitcoins are valuable and they are a medium of exchange.

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Dread Pirate Roberts Goes On Trial

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Ross Ulbricht When he graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2008, Ross William Ulbricht lost his divine interest in physics and chemicals and decided to engage in libertarianism; an economic theory promoting the abolishment of coercion and aggression among people. That is why he decided to create an economic simulation with the intention of giving people first-hand experience of what the world would be without complete use of force.

Ross Ulbricht alias Dread Pirate Roberts (a character in The Princess Bride) is the alleged owner and manager of an anonymous narcotics marketplace that has recently caught every headline – the Silk Road. It was fully encrypted as well as completely anonymous thanks to Bitcoin, which is impossible to crack and the main reason why the concept managed to stand beyond any government regulation – until in October 2013 when the Silk Road alleged kingpin was arrested. Bitcoin has since been put under scrutiny as the peer-to-peer anonymous currency that was used to promote criminal activity on Ulbricht’s site.

Since its inception in 2011, the Silk Road is said to have generated close to $1.2billion in annual sales. Before its closure, the Dread Pirate received $80million in commission just by running the site. He was later arrested following accusations on money laundering, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent IDs, narcotics trafficking and computer hacking, with a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment. The most serious accusation among all these is taking part in “continuing criminal enterprise” also known as “the kingpin status”– a charge mostly reserved for top members of organized gangs including mafia bosses.

With the trial set to begin on 13 January in a New York courtroom, the verdict could turn out to be a legal landmark as many are eager to see how online crimes are investigated and punished. If Ross is actually found guilty, this could see online retailers such as eBay remain to be responsible for every item sold by its users. It could also lead to a shift of the paradigm where webmasters will be held responsible for any content shared over their pages by the vast network of internet users. Ross would become the first person in history to be sentenced in a court of law for crimes committed by other users of his website.

Ross Ulbricht on CourtRoss being sentenced based on the actions of Silk Road users would “put a chill on the internet”, this is according to Ulbricht’s mother Lyn who has taken the initiative of protesting against all charges directed to her son by fronting the “Free Ross” campaign that has so far raised donations worth $335,000. The parents together with 25 family members managed to raise a million dollars but the sitting Juge Katherine Forrest refused to grant bail and Ulbricht has since been held in Brooklyn jail.

Fortunately for Ross, the murder-for-hire allegations where it is alleged he paid undercover officers bitcoins totalling up to $500,000 to kill his enemies are not included in the original indictment but instead listed as surplusage (not formal charges) due to lack of evidence and therefore require no proof. January 13, 2015 is the date set for the commencement of the Silk Road trial.

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Alleged Silk Road Founder Charged With Murder-For-Hire Scheme

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Ross William UlbtichtRoss Ulbricht, the alleged founder of the Silk Road, an online black market site known for selling illegal drugs was arrested and prosecuted for running the site, attempted to arrange the murders of at least six people. One of the six persons is his employee whom he believed had stolen bitcoins worth $350,000. Also, the prosecution believe that he solicited the murder of one “Friendly Chemist”, one of the vendors on the site who threatened to blackmail him by revealing the personal identities of the Silk Road customers and vendors. It is alleged that he demanded a $500,000 bribe or else he would publish the information.

To support the claims, the prosecutors intend to use one of the emails that Ulbricht sent which stated that Friendly Chemist was a liability and should be executed immediately. Despite the fact that these alleged murder-for-hire plots are not currently included in the government’s indictment, the federal prosecutors in New York as seeking to use them as evidence when his trial commences on January 5th. The government argues that Ross Ulbricht planned to use the murders to safeguard the criminal enterprise from the authorities.

Curtis Clark GreenAnother case against him in Maryland charged him for hiring and paying an undercover federal agent $80,000 as payment to torture and murders a former leading administrator in the Silk Road drug emporium, Curtis Clark Green. The prosecutors in this case stated that federal agents indeed staged his murder and even took photos of the mock torture and murder. In fact, most of the images including some that showed a corpse were sent to Ulbricht as prove that the former administrator had been executed.

Even though the murders were not carried out, the prosecutors believe that Ross intended them to happen and would not hesitate to use violence to silence witnesses and protect his criminal activities. Electronic communication evidence that was retrieved from his laptop will be used as evidence once the case commences.

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Mother Of Alleged Silk Road Mastermind Blasts US Drug War And The Growing Scope Of Online Surveillance

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Silk Road MarketplaceIf you have been paying attention at all to the darker fringes of the internet, there is a good chance that you have heard of the Silk Road. This website hidden in an anonymous area of the web has caused quite the stir recently, including a rather high profile bust by US authorities.

 

Ross UlbrichtLyn Ulbricht’s Son Ross was arrested in San Francisco in 2013 for allegedly being the mastermind behind the Silk Road. The site according to some was a bastion for private drug deals and even hiring hit men. It used the virtual currency bitcointo make transactions difficult to trace. Needless to say a site like this will attract the attention of the authorities.

Lyn has had a lot to say about the recent events that include her son. She was recently at a gathering of interested people to discuss the dark web, including sites like the Silk Road, and the increasing scope of government spying and surveillance. She defended her son claiming that prosecutors were making unfounded allegations of murder against her son. She said that they have effectively “poisoned the trial”.

She was also critical of the US Governments controversial War on Drugs. She discussed wondering if it has simply been a great excuse to expand the prison systems, referring to it as a “prison industrial complex”. She added that if this was the goal they have been successful at achieving it.

Her blasting of the US Authorities included delving into online surveillance and privacy. She accused the FBI of using illegal methods of gaining entry to the servers that ran the Silk Road, including hacking their way in. Overall, the conversation showed how law enforcement’s tries to police a borderless online realm and called the US Authorities out for continuing to increase the areas that it places under its blanket of surveillance.

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How Coinalytics May Have Mapped Silk Road Transactions

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Silk Road MarketplaceThe Silk Road was a famous, or infamous, online business that allowed people to buy illegal drugs. Some people saw it as a place of freedom, while others saw it as a lawless gutter. Whatever the views that people had of it, it was riding the front wave of private shopping online. One way it allowed for privacy was the use of the crypto currency bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a form of online currency that prides itself in security and privacy for its users and transactions. This made it a perfect fit for a place like the Silk Road. However, it appears that there are ways of actually mapping out transactions and one company, Coinalytics, claims to have done just that with supposed Silkroad transactions. Not only can they map out transactions, there are claims of associating people with these transactions.

Bitcoin AnalyticsThey do this by using the way that bitcoin tracks transactions. In essence, there is something called the Block chain with bitcoin. This is a transaction database that also contains a hash of the previous block of transactions. Using this information and some sophisticated analytical software it is possible to track transactions from start to finish claims Coinalytics. They claim they can also build identifiable profiles.

This does not stop at simply gathering a list of transactions according to Coinalytics. Using a starting Bitcoin address, they claim to have mapped out an entire supposed Silkroad transaction. They analyzed the starting address and found a cluster of related transactions and the address of the other participant. With simply a starting address they could be able to track any number of transactions that are involved with that address.

To people who take their online shopping privacy seriously, this could be some bad news. If Coinalytics claims are accurate, then any transaction that was done with the Silk Road using bitcoin may be able to be mapped.

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Charged Silk Road 2.0 Mastermind Seems To Be Sending Tweets From His Jail Cell

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Blake Benthal TweetsThe Silk Road 2.0 mastermind, Blake Benthall, denied responsibility of the tweets coming from his account. He had been arrested in San Francisco but plans are underway to move him to New York where the case will be handled. Blake Benthall is a computer genius and a known church goer by day. He had made over $8 million in a month on transactions alone through the Silk Road website according to the feds. The post recently reported 0.1244 Bitcoins being raised on an account that was posted on Blake’s Twitter feed with the message, ‘Donate Bitcoin’. There have been several jeer from the social media but few people have contributed an approximate of $50. However, Benthall has denied responsibility and claims his account was hacked.

Keyboard with DrugsAccording to his lawyer Jean-Jacques Cabou, Benthall remains in prison and cannot be tweeting from jail. He claims no family member or friends authorized the tweet or requested it. He says they had taken proper measures days ago to report the account had been compromised and any tweets coming out are unauthorized. They even don’t know the owner of the Bitcoin address that was posted together with the tweet. Claims of soliciting for money from people can put Benthall in more trouble but it still remains a mystery that sent the tweet. Hacking of accounts in twitter is not a new thing with several cases having taken place.

Benthall is alleged to have helped in the revival of the Silk Road 2.0 after the original Silkroad was shut down in 2013. How the feds managed to track down Benthall is unclear since the Tor program meant to protect user identity has never been cracked. People have even created several theories on the de-cloaking of Silk Road 2.0. It is hard to tell if Benthall sent the tweets since he still remains in jail. He might be a victim of hacking but we have to wait and see how his case goes.

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Accused Silk Road 2.0 Admin Worked As Contract Software Developer For Former Googler’s Secret Startup

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Blake BenthallBlake Benthall who was arrested for allegedly running the Silk Road 2.0, an illegal online narcotics bazaar, was a contract software developer at Close. There isn’t much known about Close but the company’s CEO, Falson Fatemi describes it as stealth start-up founded by ex-Googlers and supported by New Enterprise Associates, Felicis Ventures and notable personalities like Dave McClure and Mark Cuban among others. Based on the CEO’s descriptions, Close it seems, is seeking to develop software plug-in that helps people make the most of their social network connections.

HandcopClose came to light after Benthall’s arrest. The company makes a brief but dramatic appearance in the Silk Road 2.0 charging documents. These documents state that he hosted his alleged dark web drug bazaar’s server on one of the subdomains of an Internet address belonging to Close. The documents further reveal that this address was being used by Close up till November 6, 2014. Federal investigators managed to snag this server sometime in May 2014 and where able to identify its physical location in a data center outside the US. Federal investigators got their hands on it anyway, took the computer offline and copied its contents to aid them in forensic investigations.

It is during this brief take-over that the site’s administrator ‘Defcon’ who federal agents allege is Benthall, went into a brief panic attack. It is said that his internet service provider put out several messages warning of the Silk Road 2.0 server’s offline status. The documents allege that ‘Defcon’ instructed the internet service provider not to reboot srv2.close.co server as there were critical processes that needed to be watched. Benthall’s former colleagues at Close including the CEO however seem not to be aware that the Silk Road 2.0 server was running on the company’s Close.co domain. The CEO responded on Twitter saying she could not believe the allegations. She further said she had worked with Blake in the past and to her, these allegations seemed out of character.

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Federal Agents Arrest Alleged Operator Of Silk Road 2.0

If you want to visit Silk Road 2.0 then you will want to know that it was shut down by the feds on 5th November 2014 and the alleged operator “Defcon” has been arrested. The best alternative is Agora Marketplace, it actually has more listings than Silk Road 2.0. Silk Road 3.0 is ALREADY live and there will be more info about it here soon.

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

Silk Road 2.0The Federal Bureau of Investigations on November 6, 2014 announced the arrest of Blake Benthall who it claimed is also known as ‘Defcon’ for allegedly owning and operating the Silk Road 2.0 website. Silkroad 2.0 was a hidden website that allowed users to buy or sell illegal drugs as well as many other forbidden goods and services without being detected by the authorities. Mr. Benthall was arrested in San Francisco and charged with conspiracy to traffic in illicit drugs, money laundering and computer hacking among other crimes. The Silk Road 2.0 had about 150,000 users who transacted about $8 million worth of drugs and contrabands each month.

Silk RoadAccording to the FBI, an undercover agent of the Homeland Security Investigations managed to infiltrate the website’s support staff. The agent as a result gained access to the website’s private sections and even communicated with ‘Defcon’ on a regular basis. The bureau has been investigating Silk Road 2.0 since it popped up late 2013 to replace the original website that was also taken down by the US authorities. The said undercover agent had been instrumental in running Silk Road 2.0 acting as one of its central organizing figures right from the beginning when the site came alive.

The Silkroad 2.0 website made basic operational security mistakes. It is alleged that Blake used his personal email address, [email protected], to register the servers that run the illegal drugs website. As a result of these breaches, the US government agents were able to identify the physical location of the computers that run the website. This discovery was made in May 2014 after which the government agents continued to monitor everything that happened in the website. The agents were also able to locate the foreign server that hosted the website despite it being masked by a Tor network. The records obtained from the server’s hosting provider identified Mr. Benthall as the administrator of the Silk Road 2.0.

The arrest of Mr. Benthall greatly mirrors that of Mr. Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the original Silkroad website. Mr. Ulbricht, who is alleged to be ‘Dead Pirate Roberts’, allegedly operated a criminal enterprise that is very similar to the Silk Road 2.0 in many fronts. Like the predecessor, the Silk Road 2.0 used the tor network to mask its illegal dealings that mainly involved sale of illegal goods and services. The hottest items on sale in the website included illicit drugs like psychedelics, cannabis, ecstasy and opioids. The website had more than 13,000 listings just before it was brought down. The authorities also allege that Mr. Benthall used the moniker, ‘Dead pirate Roberts’ when he first launched the site before allegedly switching to the pseudonym, ‘Defcon’. And like Mr. Ulbricht, Mr. Benthall was also arrested in San Francisco.

Mr. Benthall’s arrest as well as the Silk Road 2.0’s takedown comes in the wake of a worldwide swoop on ‘dark net’ sites. Some 16 masterminds of such sites have been arrested in an exercise that also took down more than 400 ‘dark net’ websites and servers. These efforts are expected to continue so as to arrest even more perpetrators in a bid to rid the Internet of illicit trade and contrabands. The entire exercise is estimated to have affected some 18 countries netting digital currency worth over $1 million, over $250,000 in cash as well as silver, gold and narcotics.

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