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 Silk Road 2.0.
Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind of Silk Road black market, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole by a Manhattan federal court for creating the anonymous online illegal marketplace. He was labeled a criminal profiteer and a drug dealer and the government was unequivocal in saying that “a message should be sent out clearly that no individual is above the law.”
Silk Road allowed users to carry out illegal business anonymously by use of a mix of sophisticated privacy technologies to hide the identity of users from the law enforcement. Just like other black market sites, Bitcoin was being used to carry out all the transactions due to the pseudonymity it affords.
FBI insisted that Dread Pirate Roberts made mistakes that enabled detectives to discover his location and identity. The subsequent black markets were also brought down through similar errors. However, the explanations and evidence given by the investigators in court were not sufficiently convincing. This lead to speculations that the investigators used malware or enlisted NSA to assist track down the site together with its users within Tor.
It’s well known that users of Tor are vulnerable at the point where traffic enters and exits the Tor software. But, it is believed that it’s quite impossible to track its users within the network. However, if there is a good basis to the idea that detectives enlisted the assistance of NSA or used malware to bring down the site, it may be possible to uncover the real IP addresses of the Tor network users.
This would stop any chances of new black markets and would also inevitably lead to demise and prosecution of several other illegal sites that operates within the dark web. But, on the other hand, the lack of action by authorities suggests that this may not be the case.
While the Silk Road and most of its immediate successors are gone, suggestion that the technology supporting these sites is flawed is based on speculation that NSA or the FBI have cracked them. If claims by the FBI that Blake Benthall, the mastermind of Silk Road 2.0 and Ulbricht were arrested due to their mistakes are sincere, then it is still possible for similar sites to escape demise in future.