Alleged Silk Road Admin Seeks a Supreme Court Appeal

It has been nearly four years since the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the original Silk Road, and cases related to the infamous darknet market are still in development.

An Irish man who has been accused of playing a vital role in the administration of the Silk Road market planned another appeal to the Supreme Court after his extradition to the United States was ordered.

US authorities want 28-year-old Gary Davis of Johnstown Court, Wicklow to face trial on charges of distributing narcotics, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit computer hacking.

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 <<

Gary Davis, the alleged Silk Road administrator, planned to appeal to the Supreme Court following the order for his extradition to the United States.

If Gary Davis were to be convicted in the United States, he faces the possibility of a life sentence.

Davis was indicted by the United States government in 2014 following the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

He has been out on bail since he was apprehended in January 2014.

His appeals have mainly focused on the fact that he suffers strongly from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Going by the details of the formal charge by the Dublin High Court, Gary Davis was accused of being a Silk Road administrator under the pseudonym “Libertas.” Silk Road is said to have enabled the dealing of drugs including but not limited to crystal meth, crack cocaine, marijuana, and cocaine.

Allegedly, Gary Davis received a weekly sum of $1,500 as compensation for his services at Silk Road.

This is according to a payment log discovered in a computer belonging to the incarcerated Silk Road founder, Ross William Ulbricht.

Davis’ responsibilities at Silk Road included addressing vendor queries and indexing the drugs for sale on the darknet market.

Two other administrators of the Silk Road, Andrew Jones (Inigo) and Peter Nash (SSBD), were also indicted by the FBI.

An Irish High court ordered for his extradition in August 2016.

Gary Davis filed an appeal against that order.

His appeal was dismissed by at the Court of Appeal by a three-judge panel in a final hearing on February 28, 2017.

Justice Alan Mahon confirmed that the law does not permit the appeal since its subject matter was not based on a point of law, although he did voice concern for Davis’ condition.

Davis was indicted by the United States government in 2014 following the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

He touched on the daunting nature of Davis’ incarceration, but made an assurance that his concerns would be addressed by US authorities within their mandate and capabilities

The panel ordered his extradition after deliberate consideration of evidence pertaining to Davis’ medical condition and the US federal prison system.

Due to his medical condition, Davis felt that detention in a US federal prison would be inhumane and degrading.

According to his representative at the Court of Appeal, John O’Kelly SC, individuals with a severe form of this syndrome rely heavily on the support of their loved ones.

He reiterated that extradition to the US would have a significant impact on his physical and mental well-being.

According to reports, psychiatrists Michael Fitzgerald and Simon Barron-Cohen both confirmed that Davis was indeed afflicted with severer Asperger’s Syndrome.

However, the initial proceedings at the High Court in 2015 revealed that the Silk Road administrator had not been diagnosed with the condition prior to his arrest.

Davis’ chief council, John B Peart, stated that the defense sought to appeal to the Supreme Court within the limited 15-day window following the court date.

This is the standard time period where authorities cannot extradite a defendant.

Reports indicate, however, that Davis acquired information about a possible early extradition.

Justice George Birmingham denied this claim forwarded by John O’Kelly.

Given the 15-day allowance to appeal a court decision according to extradition conditions, it is quite surprising that the US marshals picked up Gary Davis before the expiration of this period.

According to Davis’ solicitor, Lana Doherty, no information was availed relating to that development.

At the moment, there is no information on how the Silk Road administrator planned to plead in the United States.

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Silk Road Vendors Indicted for Online Drug Trafficking

Three major Silk Road drug vendors have been indicted on counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances across the United States and Australia.

The latest triumph for the US Drug Enforcement Agency involves the arrest and conviction of three high-profile Silk Road drug vendors.

The three, Julian Villa-Gomez Lemus, Fadhle Muqbel Saeed, and Alfonso Bojorquez were arraigned in a Florida court where they pleaded guilty of drug distribution using darknet markets such as Silk Road.

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 <<

31-year-old Lemus was the last of the three to be convicted within the same week for near-similar crimes that involved the sale of illicit substances.

Although they were all pinned for a catalogue of slightly dissimilar charges, the trio was ultimately linked to a similar charge, and that was the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

It was a good week for the DEA, who spearheaded the investigations with the help of the now highly-resourceful USPIS, and the state of California where the three Silk Road drug vendors resided.

The Trio was Involved in a Drug Distribution Conspiracy

Each of the three Silk Road drug vendors was indicted on two counts, the first one being the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances such as marijuana, hydrocodone, and also methamphetamine.

The apparent associates were also charged with aiding and abetting each other and other drug vendors and criminals that remain unknown to the court.

Initially charged with the conspiracy to distribute only the three aforementioned substances, a subsequent announcement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida revealed that the group was also heavily involved in the sale and distribution of steroids and cocaine as well.

The announcement revealed that the three were part of a drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

The Three Silk Road Drug Vendors Considered “Heavy Hitters” in the Digital Drug Trade

Drug trade that spread across the United States and some parts of Australia.

Based on the DEA’s testimony before the federal jury in Orlando, Florida, the trio was not a small-scale drug cartel.

They ran a massive drug empire using Silk Road as just one of their platforms, and, according to the DEA, had carried out a total of 1,300 transactions up to the point of arrest.

Purported to have started their operations back in October 2012, the trio had amassed a total of $1.9 million in their years of operation.

In addition to the upcoming sentences for the three, they will also have to forfeit the proceeds of their drug operation, which may be equivalent to the above-stated amount.

Questions Raised Over the Indictment of the Three Silk Road Drug Vendors

The indictment has sparked a lot of interest on Reddit (/r/DarkNetMarkets), with a lot of questions revolving around Fadhle Muqbel Saeed.

Arguably, most of the controversy is centered on why this particular Silk Road drug vendor, despite his numerous aliases on different darknet markets, had gone unnoticed by law enforcement for so long.

Consequently, the general consensus was that the government should have made the arrests a lot earlier considering the scale of the operation ran by the three convicts.

As a result, it took a substantial amount of time to go through all these three men’s associated cases.

For instance, Saeed’s profile came attached to three different monikers from three different darknet markets.

He went by the nicknames “darkexpresso,” “Damien Darko,” and “bonappetit” on his various accounts.

He was also ranked among the top 11% of drug vendors with 100% positive reviews on Silk Road, and had conducted an upwards of 300 transactions on Silk Road in the short span of a year.

Sentences to be Delivered Shortly

The six-count indictment holds a maximum sentence of up to 20 years for each of the men in a federal prison.

The men will be awaiting their respective sentences, which will be delivered on the March 23rd, 2017 according to Attorney A.

Lee Bentley the Third. The charges for all three men involved both their state of residence, California, and Florida where the hearing has been taking place.

The USPIS has been credited for being instrumental in the DEA’s investigation, which was set into motion on the May 11th, 2016 after being signed off on by the necessary authorities.

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American Black Cross Inspired by the Silk Road Creator’s Case

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case; many people still believe he’s a political prisoner jailed for victimless crimes.

Bitcoin users are encouraged to donate towards their noble cause which champions the release of such unfairly imprisoned people.

All contributions will help in fighting the war on drugs, victimless charges and also promote overall internet freedom.

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 <<

The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.
The American Black Cross has been formed to champion the rights of political prisoners, especially those who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ulbricht was given a double life imprisonment sentence for hosting Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that dealt in prohibited drugs.

The war on drugs has ruined the lives of many individuals and their families.

It started in the 1980s when the government launched a campaign dubbed “Say No to Drugs,” this operation saw the U.S. prison population multiply by up to 5 times.

Statistics show that around 86% of the entire population of prisoners in federal incarceration are jailed for victimless crimes; these charges include drug offenses, public disorder and other illegal activities that don’t infringe directly on other citizens’ rights.

Ross Ulbricht is the most widely recognized figure arrested for a victimless crime; he was arrested in October 2013 for operating the Silk Road drug marketplace.

Despite his incarceration, many cryptocurrency users and those within the libertarian communities hold it that Ross’ trial lacked fairness, plus the prison sentence was quite extreme.

Apart from receiving a double life sentence, the Silk Road founder was also not given a chance for parole.

Ulbricht’s family believes their son was hurriedly prosecuted without any solid evidence from the government on the Silk Road case; they claim it was a legal atrocity and have since been campaigning for his release, including millions of other people who have been jailed for victimless crimes.

Ross’ family has fully endorsed American Black Cross; they recently reminded well-wishers at the end of 2016 that one of the ways they can help Ulbricht is by making tax-deductible donations to the organization.

Founded in 2015, the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity organization’s main goal is championing the rights of U.S political prisoners, a class of individuals that’s rapidly growing by the day.

The institution accepts payment in various forms such as bitcoin donation and credit card transfers; all funds are channeled towards legal aid as well as defense funding for criminal charges where certain civil rights have been denied.

Political prisoners or their respective families can submit their requests for help from the charitable organization.

If you’re facing a victimless indictment similar to the Silk Road, or represent a person who was imprisoned while resisting the federal government, Black Cross can offer some assistance, especially if you believe the case might have a greater impact beyond the litigants’ interests.

All submissions would be checked by the Review Committee for consideration, and if they believe your case is strong enough some assistance or funding will be provided.

A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case
A charity organization known as American Black Cross was recently formed to help U.S. political prisoners attain freedom; the group says their inspiration came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s case

The American Black Cross consists of a group of volunteers and human rights activists, whose main goal is to defend the prisoners of American Imperium such as Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road, promote humanitarian relief and also abolish the nation’s industrial jail systems.

According to them, Black Cross acts as a civil liberties protection organization, focused on defending those who’ve opposed repressive government policies via the internet.

Their recent plan currently is committing funds towards assisting the legal efforts of the incarcerated Silk Road creator.

The organization considers Ulbricht’s conviction bitterly unfair and is actively involved in helping him with the ongoing appeal.

Political cases like that of Silk Road have a tendency of shaping precedence in future rulings; that’s the reason why many people in the cryptocurrency community are supporting Ulbricht and Free Ross organization.

Various aspects of the case including investigations, arrest, server shutdown and even double life sentencing leave a lot of questions to be asked.

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The Silk Road Creator In His Prison Journey

Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.
Ulbricht, shares his prison experience through letter and poem.

Ross Ulbricht recently sent a letter and a poem that gave his supporters and family an in-depth revelation of his true character and personality.

The Silk Road founder, in the poem written by William Henley, described that the phase he was going through in his life was as dark as night. Ross uses the poem and letter to reveal the gratitude he felt towards a sovereign being for the strength in his soul.

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, through the poem and letter, illustrates that he just happened to be a victim of circumstance but still chose to remain strong.

Ross still chooses to remain unwavering by the waves of injustice. The poem states “my head is bloody but unbowed.” The Silk Road founder chooses to have hope and belief in his inner strength.

The poem describes the future as unpredictable, but he still refuses to feel afraid of what the future held for him.

He's grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.
He’s grateful and steadfast in his belief, despite everything his soul shall overcome.

Despite all the Silk Road founder was going through, he describes himself through the poem to still be in control of his destiny and life, even behind bars.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road creator, in his letter, stated that the poem literally described his life in prison and helped him grow more steadfast in his fight for justice.

Ross narrates in his letter that since he got to prison, the perspective of his life became a little bit thinner than before.

He says that his contact with the outside world was limited to an hour visit each week, 300 minutes phone call, letters and whatever was in the media.

Ross Ulbricht comments on the diet that it was not what he would have preferred but still was grateful for life.

Ross Ulbricht also described in his letter that he went into isolation for the first 6 weeks as he tried to adjust to his new life. Ross says that the difference between the life he was used to outside and the locked up kind of life was too vivid.

He began to swallow in his reality when he was set free from the solitary to the general population. The Silk Road creator states that it was when the war within him truly began.

Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder, describes in his letter that the life in prison was boring. He says there were only but a few things that could distract him from the harsh reality.

Ross states that he worked on his defense; he played games of ping pong and read quite a lot.

Ross in his letter even said that he started practicing yoga, and consequently, the distractions became less effective giving room to panic.

Ross says that in prison, many before him had been in the same state, causing them to venture into distractions like gambling, while a fraction became slaves of their misery.

However, the Silk Road founder talks in his letter of a few inmates who made a positive and profound impact in his life behind bars.

Ross tells of his new acquaintance, who had already served twelve years of his time in maximum security facility.

Ross noticed that the guy was never in a rush and that whenever they interacted, they had quite long chats that were never boring.

The Silk Road founder acknowledges the fact that his new prisoner friend taught him how to accept and face the situation he was currently facing.

He even gave Ross a few tips on how to conquer his fears, which Ross Ulbricht says marked a turning point in his life behind bars. It set him on a journey of acceptance and inevitable growth.

Ross Ulbricht, in the letter, wrote that he now realized that even being contained behind bars, the authorities had no say over his soul.

The only souvenir he had of the outside world, were memories that he could refer to quench his nostalgic bouts.

In conclusion, in the letter Ross Ulbricht sent, he even mentioned that he was still grateful for the life he was living and he loved it.

Ross says that the other inmates thought he was crazy when he talked passionately about that life, but Ross Ulbricht reminds them that it was the only way he could get through it, by accepting his reality even if he never got the chance to walk free again.

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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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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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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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Top 5 Silk Road Alternatives

Everyone that likes the Silk Road needs a list of Silk Road alternatives, this is because our favorite darknet marketplaces never last forever.

We all know that the Silk Road has made history on the Darknet, and it is widely considered a pioneer in centralized Darknet marketplaces. The brand started its evolution with the original Silk Road, being one of the first marketplaces to employ this business model.

The brand started its evolution with the original Silk Road, being one of the first marketplaces to employ this business model.

The alleged mastermind behind it was a man called Ross Ulbricht, also known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” He held belief that drug consumption and trafficking is something that can be done safely and peacefully, without any fear, just like any other kind of shopping.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is 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 <<

silk-roadEven though Silk Road has been closed after a very successful business campaign, some of its admins and prominent vendors did not want to give up on it that easily.

They all together decided to revive it and go on with their philosophy of free drug consumption and standing up against the authorities.

That is how a Silk Road alternative with the same name but with a 2.0 added was created.

It wasn’t long until the Silk Road 2.0 was allegedly hacked and shut down, and it is said that around 4 thousand Bitcoin were stolen.

The main problem with the Silk Road 2.0 is that the agencies that were in a raging war against drugs held Dread Pirate Roberts captive, together with his laptop and all the market data on it.

The data included some information about people who were later arrested for the involvement with the Silk Road.

Silk Road 3.0 and Silk Road Reloaded

Silk Road Reloaded was what many considered a cheap attempt at a Silk Road alternative by a small and obviously anonymous marketplace at trying to make money off of a name.

The critics were pretty harsh on the admins; many considered them rude and weird since they acted in a very impolite way in some cases.

bitcoin-silkroadOne of its many downsides is the fact that they didn’t use Bitcoins only, coupled with the fact that they were not accessible by Tor but rather its less popular counterpart i2P.

Another marketplace which tries to revive the Silk Road legacy has stepped up to the plate. Some say that it has no connection to the original Silk Road aside of the name; others support this by claiming that it is a small marketplace called Diabolus Marketplace.

However, security on the website is worth double-checking, since many people say that the Silk Road era is over and that no one sane would put any money or conduct business on such a site.

Whether this is true or not, this is what you encounter once you go to the website: first and foremost, you have to register, and then you are free to browse the site and do your business.

What most people are interested in are the listings. You have the possibility to filter your search by vendors or by product. The Silk Road 3.0 shows listings from vendors that have been active in the last three days.

There is a huge selection of goods numbering over 25 thousand drug listings, with total listings reaching as high as 35 thousand individual products or services. Given these numbers, it is more than clear that this is a drug-oriented marketplace.

If Silk Road goes down…

If the Silk Road 3.0 goes down, here is the list of Silk Road alternatives we recommend checking out AlphaBay, Dream Market, Valhalla, Outlaw Market, and Hansa Market. Each of the markets requests registration and after that allows you to explore further what they have to offer.

AlphaBay

alphabay-screenshotThis is the biggest Silk Road alternative, it is a regular marketplace which is designed to suit the needs of the people who want to sell products worldwide. It is founded by alpha02, who is according to the DeepDotWeb a reputable member on most carding forums and an experienced carder.

While this may come as a deterrent to some of the Darknet community, the fact that alpha02 is a Darknet veteran and an experienced vendor cannot be denied. Once you follow the onion link and land on the first page, you will see the captcha system set in place and will be asked to write a string of numbers in digits correlating to the names of the numbers displayed to you on the page.

After the site verifies that you have entered the data correctly, you will be redirected to the home page of the market. Now, you can browse AlphaBay at your leisure. AlphaBay is known for its numerous features that help in increasing both the security of the site and the comfort of use.

That being said, it is currently one of the most well designed Darknet markets around. It uses both multisig and normal escrow systems and as with most reputable markets, the only currency accepted is the Bitcoin.

Apart from drug listings which are by far the most common at over 19 thousand, you can encounter listings of jewelry, weapons, and most notably stolen credit cards, which seem to be AlphaBay’s secondary focus.

Dream Market

dream-marketDream Market is currently one of the oldest Darknet marketplaces around making it a reliable Silk Road alternative. It has been up and running since December 2013.

Dream Market’s site will let you explore the offer they have without having to sign in with an account, but, if you want to conduct business there, you will have to register. You will have to provide your username and password, along with the captcha verification. The listings include drugs and drug related item (around 2000 of them), jewelry, hardware and software, forgeries and many other items.

Payment is being done in Bitcoin, and the status of Bitcoin can be checked by looking at the top of the site. Dream Market uses a traditional escrow system, and it seems that a good portion of Darknet community praises it for being decently scammer-free.

Valhalla

Valhalla is also known by its Finnish name, Silkkitie. The change of name is supposed to signify the marketplace’s evolution from being a Finland-only based marketplace to international business. The site of this market is easy for browsing since its organization into categories and subcategories is quite well thought out.

When it comes to listings, you can find numerous listings of drugs, digital items, mushroom growing, and much more. The total number of listings goes around 8,500 to 9,000, over 5000 of which are drug listings. However, if you want to enter the website, you must register.
Write your username, password, and instead of captcha answer a simple question like “What day comes after Tuesday?”, or “What month comes after January?” When you submit your application, you will be able to explore and see all the listings and information that interests you.

As far as security on Valhalla goes, both multisig and traditional escrow are set in place, as well as a forced PGP encryption to make sure that no incriminating evidence passes through it unencrypted. Both buyer and vendor positions are invite-only as of recently, and one cannot open a business on Valhalla unless they have a referral link.

Outlaw Market

Outlaw Market is not well known for the beauty of the design of their website, but what it lacks in UI design it makes up in sheer security measures. For example, you will not find any direct link to profiles of the vendors, but there is a separate page reserved for them.

Upon following the onion link, you will be provided with the captcha page to prove that you’re not a DDoS bot. After that, you will register yourself by entering the username and password, and then you will be able to browse the market for what you are searching for.
Now, you may find the site slower than the others, but this is because they have several security systems in place which puts a slightly bigger load on their servers. The listing number which goes around to the number of 1,000 includes drugs, weapons, electronics, services, digital goods, and a handful of other products and services.

The number of vendors is also not overly significant. A unique vending system on Outlaw Market is their auction where buyers can compete among themselves to score better prices on some listings.

Hansa Market

This is a market with great precaution and safety measures make it into our top 5 Silk Road alternatives. They claim that there is no chance that someone would disappear with the customer’s Bitcoins.

The listings don’t come down to drugs only, and one can find many other interesting products, from digital goods, jewelry, services, electronics, erotica, guides and tutorials, counterfeits, fraud related tutorials, etc. However, if you want to see the listings, you will have to sign in.

The procedure is a very basic one; provide them with your username and password, and make sure that you type in the correct captcha letters. Once you are finished, you can start browsing Hansa.

Even though it is one of the newer marketplaces, it has gained popularity quite quickly as a legitimate and scam-free business.

At the end of the day, there are some markets that you can visit in case the Silk Road 3.0 goes down.

Hopefully, this article can help shine a little bit of light on the many possible Silk Road alternatives in the event of a Silk Road 3.0 outage.

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Alleged Key Advisor To Silk Road, Variety Jones, In Thai Prison

thai-prisonAnd so the ongoing Silk Road saga continues…

Three years after the demise of the original darknet market, we’re still caught up in the turmoil surrounding the eponymous online black market.

Roger Thomas Clark, allegedly one-time right-hand man to the owner of Silk Road, has been in prison in Thailand a long nine months. Considering the conditions in jails across numerous countries in South East Asia, this is no mean feat.

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 <<

Silk Road

But who is Roger Thomas Clark, and why is he seemingly rotting away in a Thai jail?

The answer lies in a convoluted mess of tiny bits of evidence – evidence obtained across the course of nailing the owner of Silk Road – one Ross Ulbricht aka “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

Ulbricht is currently serving life in prison after being convicted of charges including money laundering, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and computer hacking.

Ulbricht was the brains behind the world’s first darknet market. Silk Road was launched in early 2011. Running over the Tor network, the online marketplace offered people a chance to buy and sell online in a completely anonymous fashion.

While built around the idea of a completely free market, in reality, the marketplace was a veritable haven for the trade of illegal goods and services including drugs.

With noble aspirations, Ulbricht descended into something far greater than himself and found himself ordering hits to protect his data assets and identity.

Ulbricht was caught mainly due to infiltration by an FBI agent, who was later found to have been dirty after siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin into his own accounts.

The plot really reads more like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Variety Jones

variety-jonesBut how, exactly, does Roger fit into the picture?

Roger Thomas Clark is allegedly “Variety Jones,” a key individual involved in the day to day operations of the Silk Road marketplace.

Variety Jones originally joined Silk Road in 2011, as a marijuana seed vendor.

Communications between Dread Pirate Roberts and Variety Jones, obtained from logs on machines of Ulbricht himself reveal a clever, worldly confidant, advisor, and manager in Variety Jones.

Variety Jones was a skilled technologist, and over the course of time became heavily involved with running Silk Road and advising Dread Pirate Roberts on murky areas related to business.

This even involved suggesting to DPR taking out a hit on people who were a danger to the working of the business. Variety Jones was DPR’s right-hand man – the go-to sounding board when things became unclear in business.

The man himself

Roger Thomas Clark currently sits in a prison in the country’s capital, Bangkok, while the US makes attempts to extradite him. Roger, at 55, doesn’t appear to the naked eye to be a devious international criminal.

And in terms of evidence against him, it is unclear just how much the US authorities have. When Roger was arrested and his assets seized, unlike Ulbricht, all his files were encrypted.

While there’s a trail of evidence that seems to lead towards him, just what they’ve got remains a mystery for now. Clark remains committed to fighting extradition attempts. After the life sentencing of Ulbricht, it’s easy to see why.

Extradition remains almost certainly a life sentence for Clark. The charges the US government is accusing him of include narcotics conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, where the outcome if convicted is likely life in prison.

A recent interview

advisor-in-prisonRecently, Ars Technica has been taking the time to interview Clark, both in the visitors’ section of the Bangkok Remand Prison, and listening in to the man while on his way to the courthouse in Bangkok to continue fighting extradition attempts.

And while Clark doesn’t seem to be proclaiming his innocence too much, he does raise another very valid point about the investigation.

“Guilt is a technical term,” he says, “They don’t have s*** on me.” This raises the point in the US that evidence needs to be shown that the accused is guilty without a reasonable doubt.

“Forensics could spend 30 years trying to decrypt those hard drives and still not get anywhere,” Clark says matter-of-factly.

Just what is on those hard drives will perhaps not be known for many, many years, which may indeed have put the US investigation into the matter on a bit of a deep freeze.

What’s next?

Clark alludes to friends in high places in South East Asian governments, deals with officials, and military information. It’s almost like a mystery novel.

The man is clever, for sure, and remains optimistic about his chances in Thailand.

The jail hasn’t beat Clark like it does for so many other foreigners who wind up in the prison system there.

Perhaps it’s because of the groundswell of support from those in the online community, or perhaps it’s because of his inherent nature.

Perhaps it’s just because of the genuine love of the country that Clark has acquired over his years of living in the country – it’s hard not to like, with its sun-drenched personality.

For the moment, Clark remains in a sort of international limbo. While conditions in Thai jail are surely not ideal, it beats the alternative for Clark.

We will have to see just what happens in this case and whether extradition attempts will be successful.

Whether the amount of evidence against Clark is enough to get him onto US shores, or whether the Thai government deems him too important to the country to free is yet to be seen.

All that is known is that Roger Thomas Clark fights on.

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Bail Granted To Alleged Silk Road Admin

Gary Davis, the man from Wicklow and an alleged administrator of the Silk Road marketplace, has appealed to an order of the High Court that he be extradited to the United States where he will face a trial. He has been granted bail.

Gary Davis has been fighting extradition since the year 2013, and a High Court judge had ordered him to surrender himself to the US authorities for a trial. On August 19, his appeal to overturn the decision of the judge was granted to him. This gives him more time to prepare for the potential extradition.

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 <<

The Silk Road Administrator Granted Bail

Gary-Davis
Alleged Irish administrator of Silk Road website granted bail.

Davis is one among the three moderators of Silk Road that were arrested on charges of distribution of narcotics, computer hacking, and money laundering.

The other two were Peter Nash and Andrew Jones. Gary objected to the High Court judge’s order saying that he suffered from depression and Asperger’s Syndrome.

His defense lawyer stated that he would not receive proper care if detained in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

The judge rejected his appeal that his constitutional and human rights would be breached. Davis was held in custody at the Cloverhill Prison.

The matter was taken up by the court once again when Mr. Davis filed an appeal against Justice McDermott’s order that he turn himself in and surrender to the US authorities.

The former Silk Road administrator requested that he be granted bail pending the outcome of his appeal.

Davis has been given ten days’ time to file a new appeal to turn down this decision of the judge.

Bail has been granted, and he now has time to prepare for his potential extradition. If extradited to the US and if he is convicted there, he could be awarded a life sentence.

bail granted
Judge orders Irishman Gary Davis to be extradited to United States.

The bail to Davis was consented to on the basis of a few conditions: he would sign every day with the Gardai; he would be let out on bail only on the basis of an independent surety of 15,000 Euros out of which 10,000 Euros were to be given as cash to the court; he should reside in Johnston Court (Kilpedder), demonstrate good behavior and not travel out of the jurisdiction.

Gary Davis was granted bail after his father John Davis stood up as the independent surety.

Davis had already been on bail as the extradition request was being dealt with by the court and was fully complying with all the bail terms that were set.

Gary Davis was accused of acting as the administrator of the online black marketplace Silk Road launched in 2011 under the name of “Libertas.”

The site was shut down in 2013 by the FBI. Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, was charged, arrested and subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

With the US authorities’ claims that Gary Davis as the administrator had explicit knowledge of all the items that were on sale on the Silk Road website, the lawyer who defended the other alleged moderator said that Davis cannot avoid a severe “no-mercy” sentence if convicted in the US.

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