A Delve into the Silk Road Creator’s Coinbase Wallet Freeze

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange company, has disabled the “Free Ross” campaign wallet that was meant to help raise funds for Ross Ulbricht, who was the founder and admin of the Silk Road.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

This freeze took place right after the campaign had received 16.5 Bitcoins in donations, a value equivalent to $40,200.

Bit-coin in the wallet
A look into some possibilities for why Coinbase blocked a digital wallet held by “Free Ross,” a fundraising campaign to help cover legal defense costs for the Silk Road founder.

The Ulbricht family is the official manager of the Free Ross campaign.

It was launched to raise funds for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal and legal defense.

After the news of the freeze, members from the Free Ross campaign and others who followed the case closely were quick to offer assistance in order to resolve the situation.

Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015 for his alleged involvement with the Silk Road, an online market for drug transactions and other illegal business dealings.

The court revealed that he operated the darknet market under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

The site’s illegal products and services were the main reason for Ulbricht’s harsh sentence, due to the massive scale facilitated in the drug trade.

In May 2017, an appellate court denied an application from his legal team.

Ulbricht’s campaign team confirmed the Coinbase freeze.

They stated that they had moved the Bitcoins to Coinbase from blockchain, to enable them to convert to USD and pay for Ross’ defense. However, upon trying to validate their account, it was disabled without any explanation.

All they were told is that Coinbase would get back to them in 72 hours.

Coinbase is one of the most standardized Bitcoin exchange services in the United States.

This company is highly regulated. It’s registered and certified as a Money Service Business with FinCEN.

Hence, it is expected to comply with many financial services and consumer protection laws.

This company has been known to freeze accounts whenever any suspicious activity is noticed.

It also freezes the accounts of those who engage in online gambling. Coinbase has a strict policy where it requires details about how clients intend to use their Bitcoins.

The Silk Road creator’s campaign team has been in operation since the first time he was arrested in October 2013 over the same issue.

The Free Ross campaign has not engaged in any illicit activities. All the campaign does is just present Ulbricht’s side of the story.

In addition, the team tries to raise funds to pay for legal defense and appeals.

The campaign had not been storing all its Bitcoins on Coinbase, but was using the account to convert donations to USD.

Still, the Ross Ulbricht-related plot thickens. Just recently, Coinbase announced that a former federal prosecutor named Kathryn Haun was joining its board of directors.

holding a smartphone and virtual system diagram bitcoin
A digital currency coordinator at the United States Department of Justiceis now joining Coinbase’s board of directors

Haun was a digital currency coordinator at the United States Department of Justice, where her primary focus was on national security, cybercrime, financial fraud and gang activity.

She mainly led investigations into the corrupt federal agents that had been accused of theft and corruption during the Silk Road case.

Both suspects were successfully prosecuted and are now serving a jail term.

The news of Haun joining Coinbase’s board of directors did not sit well with some members of the Bitcoin community.

The freezing of the Silk Road creator’s campaign wallet was a little suspicious, especially since it happened soon after her appointment to the board.

However, it turns out Haun was not the prosecutor that convicted the Silk Road founder.

Coinbase has since unblocked Ross Ulbricht’s legal defense wallet after a flurry of complaints.

The Free Ross twitter account posted that the freeze was an auto security response that occurred after a possible link to previous compromised account.

This incident only highlighted Coinbase’s already beleaguered internal and external issues.

The Silk Road creator’s supporters said the statement was only a cover up of Coinbase’s other problems with IRS.

Thanks to the unfreezing of the wallet, Ulbricht’s campaign team can continue funding their campaign to help him receive some semblance of justice.

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The Silk Road Founder Loses His Life Sentence Appeal

Ross Ulbricht is now destined to spend the rest of his life in prison following the sound rejection of his appeal that was meted out the previous week.

The Second Circuit appellate court ruling was firmly delivered to the Silk Road drug kingpin, famously known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” in a manner that expressed subtle sympathy for the somewhat excessive, yet completely justified conviction of Ulbricht by the lower district court.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road is BACK ONLINE NOW as Silk Road 3.1 and open for business. The team did a change and upgrade for a reason we can only assume for security.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.1 Guide <<

Rubber stamping that says 'Appeal'.
A Second Circuit appellate court effectively ended Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s fight for justice, upholding the life sentence initially meted out by the district court.

This marked the end of Ulbricht’s five-year battle to escape his lifetime imprisonment sentence, which was influenced by an investigation marred with vast inconsistencies, according to Ulbricht’s defense.

Unauthorized Searches, Corrupt Investigators

The Silk Road investigation is one that will be remembered not only for its unexpectedly severe ending, but also for a number of inconsistencies which many believe played a hand in the largely unfair ruling.

These sentiments were echoed by the appellate court judges who seemed to concur with the majority opinion that the sentencing was heavier than most courts would have issued.

Ulbricht’s appeal was hinged on two key occurrences that his defense feel could have negatively influenced the outcome of his trial.

The involvement of DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges—two corrupt officials who stole from the Silk Road and also attempted to extort its founder—in the investigation forced his defense to file for a mistrial.

The appellate court also received and dismissed claims that the Silk Road investigators had conducted unauthorized surveillance of his home network, through which they managed to collect information from his social media and email accounts.

Ulbricht’s defense also raised the issue of what they termed as “unconstitutional searches,” which led to the seizure of his laptop. To this argument, the three-judge panel responded that the searches had been backed by warrants and were as such legal under the Fourth Amendment.

The appellate court upheld and maintained the life imprisonment sentence, despite the prosecution’s move to appeal to the district court’s emotional side by introducing statements which had little or no direct relevance to the Silk Road founder’s case.

Claims that this could have led to misgivings in the final ruling were shot down by the judge panel, who backed the district court’s ability to make decisions that weren’t afflicted by the wrenching testimony.

The three judges, however, agreed that the Silk Road customers’ deaths did not hold much relevance to the trial.

No Reprieve for the Drug Market Founder

Appeal word on card index paper
This marked the end of Ulbricht’s five-year battle to escape his lifetime imprisonment sentence, which was influenced by an investigation marred with vast inconsistencies, according to Ulbricht’s defense.

In the end, the final ruling of the appellate court terminated all hopes of Ulbricht clawing his way out of life imprisonment without parole. The decision to uphold the district court’s ruling was heavily influenced by the “kingpin” charge, which portrayed Ulbricht as a ruthless administrator who had gone to great lengths to protect the wealth he had amassed through the Silk Road under the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts.

They reiterated that there had been overwhelming evidence of this, citing the three attempted murder charges that had weighed profoundly against Ulbricht and ultimately played the biggest part in his sentencing.

According to the court documents, the ruling, although excessive, was completely justifiable. In addition to Ulbricht’s actions, the judges called attention to the volume of sales generated by the drug-fueled marketplace, saying that any prosecution would be justified to seek extreme punishment in such a case.

His sentencing was initially intended to partially serve as a dire warning to other dark web drug kingpins which, in retrospect, worsened the situation drastically.

Subsequent versions of the Silk Road all raked in sales that amounted to more than double of what Ulbricht was arrested for in what was a brash display of impunity by online drug overlords who were now much more alert to the danger of being nabbed by the federal authorities.

The appellate court’s ruling also contained undertones of doubt and subtle sympathy for the extreme sentencing of a young man to spend the rest of his life in prison. The panel admitted that although the sentencing was permissible, they might have considered a less harsh ruling if the case had been presented to them first.

Be it as it may, the writing is finally on the wall: Ross Ulbricht, founder of the trailblazing Silk Road One, will live out the rest of his days in prison.

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“Libertas” of the Silk Road Loses US Extradition Appeal

Irish citizen Gary Davis, 28, has been accused of assisting in the operation of the Silk Road.

The original Silk Road was a darknet market that allowed users to engage in trade of drugs and other illicit goods.

The now defunct Silk Road marketplace was popular for this kind of illegal trade largely due to its privacy and anonymity with the use of bitcoin as the predominant means of payment.

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 <<

Irish citizen Gary Davis, 28, lost his appeal against extradition to the United States for charges associated with being a Silk Road administrator.

Gary Davis recently lost an extradition appeal in the US, where he is expected to face charges that relate to more than $200 million worth of drug sales on the Silk Road website.

Furthermore, Gary Davis is being accused by the US authorities of conspiracy pertaining the distribution of narcotics, to commit computer hacking, and to money laundering.

Davis may be facing life imprisonment in the event he is found guilty of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, let alone if the other charges are added on.

The Court of Appeal of Ireland noted that Gary Davis was allegedly earning $1500 every week for his services on the Silk Road market.

The evidence was supposedly quite substantive, and Davis was not obliged to make a plea in his hearing.

The Defense team’s argument

Gary Davis’ defense attorneys presented an argument on the basis that the judge who had ordered for Davis’ extradition the previous year had made a mistake in reaching a conclusion about Gary Davis’ mental condition, noting that he had Asperger’s syndrome, anxiety, and depression.

According to the court, these did not amount to a legitimate risk of a violation of his rights under the Irish law.

The Court of Appeal’s three-judge bench concurred with the extradition judge’s decision.

The court was of the stance that the United States authorities would adequately protect Gary’s mental and physical health.

The court also said that it had taken into consideration the issues that arose pertaining the extradition and imprisonment of Gary Davis.

Court of Appeal takes into consideration Gary’s mental and physical health

The Court agreed, however, that it would be a gruesome experience for a person who had strong mental health, let alone who had a mental health conditions like Davis, to go through extradition and subsequent imprisonment.

Davis, who was accused of aiding in the operation of the Silk Road darknet market, was taken into custody following his appeal against his extradition to the United States being dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Davis’ defense lawyers have not yet revealed whether they would be making a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Ireland.

It was emotional for some of Gary’s family and friends who were present in court.

Davis briefly hugged some of his relations before he was put into custody.

The United States authorities claim that Davis was an administrator for the Silk Road website.

The charges that Davis will face carry a life sentence under American law.

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“Free Ross” Has Been Hacked

-hack-
The Free Ross accounts were recently hacked by an unknown cyber criminal barely a month after the Free-Ross-A-Thon fundraiser was conducted.

Barely a month after the huge success that was the Free Ross-A-Thon fundraiser (which was co-hosted by a number of high-profile personalities alongside Ross’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht) was held, disaster struck.

Reports of the hacking of the email addresses, the Twitter account, the phone numbers, and worst of all, the Bitcoin and PayPal accounts linked to Free Ross came just a few weeks afterward.

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 <<)

Fundraiser Had Garnered Close to $50,000

The Free Ross-A-Thon was dedicated to helping the family of the Silk Road founder raises about $14,000 in legal fees, which would be used to print Ross’s court appeal documents.

The fundraiser exceeded all expectations by a mile as the proceeds from well-wishers reached $23,500 before Roger Ver, a Bitcoin entrepreneur, matched Ross Ulbricht’s legal fees, bringing the total to $47,000.

Another significant contribution was made by the American Black Cross, a non-profit organization that seeks to help out political prisoners.

The founder, who also happens to be the man behind DefenseDistributed, donated $5,000 to the Silk Road founder’s cause.

The Hacking was announced on 31st December

The announcement was first made during the early morning hours of 31st December via the Free Ross Facebook account.

A similar notice was also put up on Reddit. They informed the public what had happened and asked well-wishers to stop sending in the donations using the normal channels until the matter was clarified.

Unfortunately, this message did not reach as far as it was intended since donations of 1.1 BTC were received in the original PayPal account after the notice was posted.

The blockchain indicated that the hack actually took place on 29th December when two amounts totaling to 20.4 BTC were withdrawn from the account on two separate occasions.

On the morning of the 31st December, shortly before the notice was posted, another withdrawal of 24.7 BTC was made.

Outrage over the Hacking of the Silk Road Founder’s Funds

email-hack
It is said that the hackers had managed to get access to the email account.

Roger Ver, the biggest contributor to the Silk Road founder’s cause, was openly upset over the hacking of the Free Ross accounts.

He let his outrage known through his Twitter account on the same day of the incident by posting a tweet which read in part: “hackers who target those who are already dealing with heartache deserve all our contempt” followed by a link to the Reddit post that warned well-wishers not to donate using the pre-established channels.

Ver was also visibly enraged by the incident as he showed on various Reddit comments, one of which showed his strong feelings towards the hackers who he felt should “burn in hell.”

Hackers Took Over Email Addresses for the Silk Road Initiative

It is said that the hackers had managed to get access to the Free Ross email account, which they had been using to solicit donations from well-wishers.

Ver had received one of such requests which he claimed was poorly put together in broken English.

The hackers are said to have been requesting donations from the well-wishers for another Free Ross meeting, this time a New Year’s party.

Google Helped Free Ross to Gain Control over their Account

On 3rd January, Lyn Ulbricht reported that they had managed to regain control over their previously hacked Gmail account and had managed to track down every last penny that had been donated towards the Silk Road founder’s cause.

She also reported that their PayPal account had not been hacked, that everything was in order and that well-wishers could resume sending their donations to the previously established bitcoin address.

Based on the success of the previous campaign, plans for the next Free-Ross-A-Thon are said to be in the works, and all pointers show that it might take place in 2017.

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An Art Campaign for the Silk Road Founder

Three years ago, in October 2013, Ross Ulbricht was working at a public library in San Francisco when he was surrounded and arrested by federal agents of a special crime division.

He was detained for a short time before being sent to New York to face trial for starting, administering, and running the Silk Road darknet marketplace.

He was later found guilty of perpetrating and promoting the sale of drugs on the marketplace and sentenced to a life imprisonment with little to no chances of parole.

This marked the beginning of a spirited campaign by his supporters which seeks to free him or at least lessen the punitive life sentence.

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 <<

Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in "Art 4 Ross" campaign.
Supporters are making and sharing their art for the Silk Road founder, Ross Ulbricht, in “Art 4 Ross” campaign.

However, a few weeks after Ross was convicted for his role in the administration and operation of the Silk Road, some increasingly worrisome details regarding the case were leaked.

This includes allegations of corruption among the lead investigators from the Drug Enforcement Agency who were tasked with the responsibility of finding compelling evidence against Ross Ulbricht.

The arrest and conviction of the Silk Road founder saw his mother Lyn Ulbricht turn into a passionate activist and thousands of supporters – mostly libertarians – joined her cause.

Nonetheless, it is one of the most recent campaigns from the “Free Ross” team that has gathered an online storm lately.

The campaign, which is dubbed as “Art 4 Ross” taps into one of Ulbricht’s unique interests especially in drawing, solving puzzles and arts.

Now, through the hashtag #Art4Ross on Twitter, Ross’ supporters have shared their art in solidarity with the movement.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.
The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

While in prison, the Silk Road founder has made an artwork that has been turned into a fun game.

Content wise, it makes use of an array of photos and drawings that seek to highlight the plight of Ross predicaments.

The art titled “The Trial I Saw” is a microcosm of the conviction from his perspective which apparently only took three weeks to be concluded.

Supporters of the Silk Road drug online bazaar creator can make their donations by simply playing the “Free Ross” game for a $1 per click to reveal a grid of each pixelated square.

One can either choose to reveal a single square at a go or make bulk selections of 10, 25 or 50 squares at a time.

Recently, the Art 4 Ross campaign picked up steam as the news surfaced that Dread Pirate Robert’s Silk Road forum account was still active even after Ross’ arrest.

Lyn Ulbricht has since made an official statement in the light of these new findings terming it as “one of the clearest signs of evidence tampering and corruption” in Ross’ case.

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A Re-Cap of the Free Ross-A-Thon Event

Free Ross-A-Thon was an event held and organized by a group of liberty activists that included the Bitcoin community, Ross Ulbricht’s family and supporters. Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, an online marketplace that was used to peddle illicit drugs, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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 <<

A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.
A recap of what happen in the Free Ross-A-Thon event held on Dec. 4, 2016.

Following a recently discovered piece of evidence by Ross Ulbricht’s defense team, they discovered that someone logged into the “Dread Pirates Roberts” Silk Road forum account weeks after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht.

This formed a ground for appeal against the Silk Road creator’s life sentence.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was held on Sunday, the 4th of December, 2016. The aim was to preach and advocate for freedom and justice.

It was also held with an aim to raise money to cater for Ross Ulbricht’s appeal court bills.

The cost for printing and binding of appeal documents is $14,000, a quite huge amount for Ross’ family to raise alone.

That is why Ross Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, together with liberty activist, Tatiana Moroz, organized the Free Ross-A-Thon event for the Silk Road founder.

Also invited to speak at the event were keynote speakers, Jeffrey Tucker and Roger Ver.

The Free Ross-A-Thon event that took almost 8 hours was filmed at the LaffCast Studio. A lot of issues were discussed during the event to free the Silk Road founder.

The speakers discussed the possible consequences of the Ulbricht’s case and the lasting impression it would have in the history of precedents.

Further, the negative impacts it would have on the general privacy rights and the rights to a fair due process of the common American citizen, not just Ross Ulbricht.

During the event, a platform was given for each of the speakers to have an in-depth analysis of the case facing the Silk Road creator, Ross Ulbricht. The public was also informed of other related legal and social issues that arose.

The Free Ross-A-Thon was interesting and very captivating. The online speakers at the event covered a wide agenda that included liberty, privacy, legal issues and the current criminal justice system.

Furthermore, during an interview, Tatiana Moroz, the songwriter and liberty activist who helped host the event, said that the most meaningful part of the event was the letter that Ross wrote to his supporters and all the persons who graced the event, not forgetting those who gave their contribution.

Tatiana stated that Ross in his letter was very grateful to his friends, family, and supporters. Ross Ulbricht said in his letter that they gave him hope and the strength to believe that a day is coming that he will walk a free man again.

Tatiana at the interview commented that the Free Ross-A-Thon event drew the attention of other liberty activists and people who believed in the ideology of justice and freedom.

Tatiana Moroz continued to urge the public through the interview, to keep themselves abreast with the facts of Ross Ulbricht’s case.

This was because the decision made at the appeal will set a precedent that will most definitely impact the criminal justice system hence have an effect on the society as well in years to come.

Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.
Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, alleged Silk Road Creator.

Lyn Ulbricht was also interviewed, and the mother’s love for her son was evident in the way she seemed hopeful even as the light of the case seemed dim.

She said that the generous financial donations from people all over the world meant a lot and that it encouraged Ross Ulbricht and his family to forge ahead and fight for freedom.

Lyn Ulbricht also said they already raised $23,500 from people around the world. It would be helpful in clearing the bill for appeal case and pay for other Ross Ulbricht’s legal expenses.

Further, she said that towards the end of the Free Ross-A-Thon event, Roger Ver announced that he would match the donations for Ross Ulbricht.

That, to Lyn Ulbricht, was a very touching and brave gesture that demonstrated how committed he was to liberty.

In a nutshell, the Free Ross-A-Thon was more than successful. People sent donations in all forms of currency towards the appeal case of Ross Ulbricht, the Silk Road founder.

It was during the event also, that Ulbricht, through his letter, together with his mother, Lyn Ulbricht and his family got a chance to thank the supporters for believing not only in him but also showing the dedication towards justice and liberty.

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Defense Suggests There’s Another Corrupt Agent In The Silk Road Case

There has been new evidence unearthed with regard to the Silk Road case. The online black market was actually the first darknet market in these modern times. The platform was utilized by hundreds of drug dealers and clients of these illicit narcotics.

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 Ulbricht's Lawyers Say They've Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case
Ross Ulbricht’s Lawyers Say They’ve Found Another Corrupt Agent in Silk Road Case

However, in October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigations arrested the man behind the site operation, one Ross William Ulbricht, known under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

During his trial, Ross admitted to having founded the Silk Road marketplace, which the FBI shut down, but he claimed to have given control to other people shortly after he founded it.

Further, Ross’s lawyers argued that “Dead Pirate Roberts” wasn’t the accused, but Mark Karpelès. They contended that Ross was just a fall guy.

In February 2015, the jury convicted Ross Ulbricht of seven charges. They included money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and computer hacking.

The Silk Road creator was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on May 2015.

Two other rogue agents of law enforcement were also arrested, former DEA agent Carl Mark Force and Secret Service agent Shawn Bridges.

The two worked as undercover agents in the Baltimore Silk Road investigation.

The agents were accused to have accepted funds from Ross in exchange of information on the investigation.

Third Corrupt Agent in the Silk Road Case

Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found sign of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.
Ulbricht’s defense team unearthed new evidence and found signs of a third corrupt agent in the Silk Road case.

Recently, Ulbricht’s lawyers revealed that they had unearthed new evidence. They said, they found signs of a third corrupt agent involved to the drug money in Silk Road and that this suspect is still at large.

The defense lawyers said that they got hold of the site’s user forum of a private chat logs that shed light on a mysterious figure referred by the pseudonym “albertpacino,” “alpacino,” or “notwonderful.”

In the conversations with Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonym that Ross used on the site, Alpacino offered to give information about the law enforcement investigations on the Silk Road in exchange for weekly payments.

The reason why these chat logs did not appear in the earlier pieces of evidence shared with the defense and prosecution was because, according to the lawyers, someone in law enforcement tampered with the evidence to cover up the conversations.

The chats were found in a backed up obscure directory on the site’s server, which probably the person who tried to delete them, never knew existed.

This new turn of events, according to the defense, calls into question the credibility of the Silk Road investigation by the prosecution.

Until now, Alpacino was believed to have been a pseudonym that the already convicted agent Carl Mark Force used.

The reason why the defense contends that Alpacino was not actually agent Carl was the fact that in the conversations, Alpacino demanded for $500 a week, which was quite small amount compared to the $50,000 that agent Force was allegedly paid by Ross.

Ulbricht’s lawyers have requested the government for any other additional information that they might have on this Alpacino user.

The entire Silk Road investigation is put into question once again. There is only so much evidence that might be willingly ignored before justice can prevail.

These private chat logs that recently discovered are a possible indication that the law enforcement agencies have a mole, although no one really can pinpoint as to who it is.

Furthermore, if it is possible that the evidence has been tampered with, Ross’s defense lawyers question as to what else has been falsified or forged in the whole Silk Road investigation.

The defense lawyers, even with this new piece of evidence, likely to be presented in the appeal trial in New York, raise doubts in the eyes of the public as to whether it will alter Ross’s fate.

It is questionable as to whether proving the existence of yet another corrupt agent would actually improve the chances of Ross Ulbricht not getting a life sentence.

The defense continues to attempt to overturn the conviction of Ross with this new piece of evidence than previously believed might help his case.

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Free Ross-A-Thon Dedicated To Raise Awareness Of The Silk Road Case

The controversial arrest and sentencing of the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht remain a thorn in many people’s sides, including his mother, Lyn Ulbricht.

Ross was sentenced to life in prison without parole last May 2015 for non-violent charges and has been fighting for his freedom ever since.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

His latest breakthrough came in the form of an appeal to an appellate bench of judges in Manhattan earlier, and now a number of high profile individuals in technology and human rights are getting behind his efforts to overcome the unfair judgment.

Event Aims to Raise Awareness and Funds

Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom
Free Ross-A-Thon Event Aims to Promote Freedom

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be held on December 4 and will focus on raising funds and awareness concerning the Silk Road case in efforts to get the world to see what liberty author Doug Casey has called “a gigantic injustice.”

The Free Ross-A-Thon event will be hosted by Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht, alongside Terry Brock and Tatiana Moroz.

It will also feature some prominent appearances from high-profile individuals including Deep Web director Alex Winter, radio show host Tom Woods, the director of Antiwar.com, Angela Keaton and freedom activist Adam Kokesh.

The event seeks to raise funds to cover the cost of printing and binding Ross’s appeal documents which, shockingly, will cost roughly $14,000.

Unfair Ruling of The Silk Road Case Still Protested

The Silk Road case was one disfigured with controversy and quite a few sideshows.

One of the prominent occurrences of the case was the arrest of two FBI agents involved in the investigations after they were caught stealing Bitcoins.

Many are of the opinion that Ulbricht’s trial was unfairly decided when the prosecutors decided to bring in the mother of a drug user who had died from an overdose of drugs he obtained from the Silk Road.

The said case also brought to light the unconventional information gathering techniques employed by the FBI to unlawfully obtain people’s private data.

The final nail in the coffin was the protested life without patrol sentence that was ultimately handed to Ross Ulbricht.

Doug Casey was quite vocal on the matter of the heavy sentence handed to Ulbricht, whose crimes barely deserved a sentencing that the liberty author compared to “a political sentence worse than any sentence the Soviet Union has ever dealt out.”

Speakers to Highlight the Government’s Shortcomings in the Drug War

Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case
Freedom activists have discussed the importance of the Ross Ulbricht case

Speakers at the Free Ross-A-Thon will focus on the insufficiencies of the government, especially when it comes to the ongoing war against drugs.

There will also be mention of how the outcome of the Silk Road case ultimately plays out for the rest of us internet users and what it could mean for individual freedom and privacy online.

The Free Ross-A-Thon star-studded charity event will see some of the most impactful internet personalities give their two cents on a matter that has remained a controversial issue beyond internet forums and the realms of the deep web where the Silk Road existed.

Free Ross-A-Thon will also serve as an opportunity for many to pick the brains of these brilliant personalities on various matters relating to the contested Ross Ulbricht’s case.

Lyn Ulbricht insists that the fight for Ross’s freedom is more than just a family affair or a mother’s cry against an unjust ruling.

The injustices committed during Ross Ulbricht’s case affect more than just one family or the users of one website, she explained, and that the future implications of rulings such as those could affect everyone.

The Free Ross-A-Thon is an open event that everyone can register for and the Ulbricht family is encouraging people to turn out in support of Ross Ulbricht.

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How ICE Aided In The Silk Road Takedown

The United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was recently discovered to have a hand in the seizure of the Silk Road marketplace.

In a special expose published by the immigration department, it was revealed how ICE agents had been an instrument in the takedown of the Silk Road back in October 2013.

Currently, ICE is heavily involved in taking down other criminals on the deep web.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Silk Road 3.0 is BACK ONLINE and open for business. The team did a massive security overhaul on the site to try and make it more secure and anonymous.

>> Click here to find the Silk Road 3.0 Guide <<

ICE Collaborated with the Cyber Crimes Center

ICE aided in the takedown of Silk Road and how ICE is currently combating deepweb activity.
ICE aided in the takedown of Silk Road and how ICE is currently combating deepweb activity.

ICE’s extended reach into cyber crime has been facilitated by The Cyber Crimes Center (C3), who, according to their Deputy Assistant Director (DAD), Patrick Lechleitner is not at all scared by the darknet.

The DAD said that the sophistication of Darknet has been largely overestimated and that only special permissions are required to access the site.

Under the Department of Homeland Security, ICE is largely concerned with crimes taking place along the US border such as human and drug trafficking, and illegal immigration.

Despite that, the recently published report resolved the extended reach ICE has through The Cyber Crimes Center.

ICE’s Presence Instrumental in the Demise of the Silk Road

ICE was drawn into the DHS investigation named “Operation Dime Store,” leading to the seizure of the Silk Road.

This was after several small drug seizures were made at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport at the mail hub.

According to ICE, the seized packages were highly unusual because they were all sourced from international locations and were addressed to locations all over the United States, and were not commonly ship through the mail.

ICE was given a tasked with finding the source of the drugs and after intercepting and analyzing several packages, they traced that the drugs came from the darknet market and it did not take long.

Following the discovery, ICE dedicated all its efforts, they analyzed the fingerprints on the packaging to look for clues in tracking the drug vendors and where the site was hosted and made an undercover purchase to enter the website.

Investigations Spearheaded by SA DerYeghiayan

ICE agent SA DerYeghiayan spearheaded the investigations and enter the darknet market as an undercover agent and eventually became a top lieutenant the Silk Road website, said Lechleitner.

Throughout the investigations, Yeghiayan had played a vital role; he analyzed seized drugs, interrogated suspects, and collected evidence. He often included participation in arresting suspected vendors and was given an insight, perspective of the darknet market.

Expose explained that DerYeghiayanhan served as the lead witness in the Silk Road case in the US.

Ulbricht would not have been found guilty, without the agent’s work, ICE guaranteed Ulbricht’s double life sentence due to following criminal offenses: money laundering, smuggling of illegal drugs, continuing criminal enterprise, hacking, and fraud documentation.

Yeghiayan said that the most satisfying part of the investigation was blocking the website and putting an end through the dangerous flow of drugs and weapons across the world, but the most important is to shut down the website.

ICE’s victory over the Silk Road was the beginning of their adaptation to the deep web, according to their DAD Patrick Lechleitner.

ICE Perfectly Adapted To Take On Modern Cyber Crime

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ICE reveals an expose that shows that they played a big role in the takedown of the Silk Road darknet market.

As the deep web criminal world continues to grow, so does ICE’s reach and their workload.

The ICE HSI is directly involved in the fight against criminal activity in the cyber environment.

As a criminal investigation unit, HSI fights criminal activity on the darknet one step at a time, the same way they do offline.

As Lechleitner put it, this market a new era in law enforcement and simultaneously symbolized the evolution of law enforcement agencies, which was unavoidable for them to be able to adapt to the rapidly changing technological world.

As any other crime, ICE believes that sites such as the Silk Road cause a danger to citizens as long as nothing is done to control it.

Darknet Sites Dangerous to US Citizens

Darknet sites affect the average citizen both directly and indirectly. American faces many risks of the activity taking place on the dark web, Lechleitner explained.

Darknet market relates itself to the personal identification of a US citizen being stolen, based on ICE. Furthermore, the injection of illegal drugs and weapons into the society eventually bears dangerous effects to the people by way of increased crime rates.

ICE’s DAD signed off with a threat to any deep web criminals, saying that their involvement with illegal activities on the dark web market will eventually be caught up with by the federal law enforcement, who are always on the lookout.

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The Dark Web And The Man Behind The Silk Road

The internet is limitless. Search engines like Google are resourceful; they only have access based on the most extensive online world.

The dark web typically comprises a huge network of non-indexed websites which require specific software or a special set of configurations to access.

In comparison to the deep web—the part of the internet that although hidden from search results, can be accessed using passwords and other forms of authorization—it offers a certain level of anonymity even from the law enforcement.

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As such, the dark web is fueled by the activities of the illegal variety. It is an infamous criminal hub since online activity on the dark web is somewhat untraceable and provides a much-needed mask around people involved in illegitimate trade among other illegal activities.

Created By: US Military Researchers

 

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Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk Road

The darkweb was created in the 90s by the United States government as a hidden network within which their spies could exchange information anonymously.

 

The government and military researchers birthed The Onion Router, famously known as TOR, and made it available to the public as a way of enhancing their spies’ anonymity by making it harder for them to investigate through thousands of interactions.

The term “Onion Router” was coined because the router used the onion routing technique where websites are buried under layers of concealing data, effectively making them anonymous.

Currently, TOR is hosting an estimated 30,000 hidden websites, most of which are on the .onion domain.

“The Dark Web is Like a Forest” – Daniel Prince

In an effort to clearly explain the workings of the dark web, the Lancaster University Associate Director Security, Daniel Prince, gave a simple illustration on how it operates on the popular website.

He linked the internet to a gigantic forest where the only way to get from one point to another is through designated paths, which he referred to as search engines like Google.

Other than the paths, there was no way to navigate the forest unless directed where to look. This is the principle that is built upon and which allows activities and identities to stay well hidden, he said.

Not surprisingly, the anonymity factor proves to be very appealing to the criminal’s minds, who have crowded the hidden network to conduct their various illegal deeds.

Although the dark web is primarily considered to be a criminal hub, it is a useful resource for journalists and activists who wish to relay sensitive information away from prying eyes.

List of Criminal Activities

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Weapons and drugs trade to the growing child pornography ring, we take a comprehensive look into the mysterious side of the internet.

According to a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth in 2014, child pornography takes the lead as the most wanted content on the dark web and is closely followed by the illegal trade of weapons, drugs and stolen personal information.

Other unlawful activities that are conducted under the cover of anonymity include hacking, fraud, and abuse.

Law Enforcement Have Made Several Busts

As much as TOR is considered inaccessible, it has been the subject of more than a few raids by law enforcement agencies and numerous arrests have been made in connection with the criminal activities conducted.

Governments have begun dedicating more resources towards breaching the anonymous network, typically using malware and viruses that compromise users and relay their information to their servers.

In one notable case, the UK government’s efforts to eliminate child pornography resulted in the capture of the most wanted pedophile in Britain, Richard Huckle.

They achieved this after secretly capturing a child abuse website. The perpetrator was served 22 life sentences for 71 child sex offenses.

Another online bust dubbed “Operation Onymous” resulted in the arrest of 17 people and the takeover of hundreds of pounds in bitcoin. Of all the arrests, however, only one person was successfully taken into custody.

The Take Down of The Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile arrests made in the history of the dark web.

The alleged creator of the multi-million dollar drug-fueled dark web market, the Silk Road, was arrested in a bust that was so massive, it led to the collapse of the website in its totality.

At the time, the Silk Road market was worth an estimated $34.5 million and had a customer base of over one million users.

Services that could be obtained on the Silk Road included fake identification cards and passports, purchase of drugs and weapons and hacking services.

There was even an elaborate system to rate and review the services to make it easier for new customers of the Silk Road.

Ross Ulbricht’s arrest did not necessarily mean the end of the Silk Road market as it has since spawned three other successors, two of which have also failed tragically.

Ross Ulbricht is currently serving his life sentence in a New York prison for charges including money laundering, drug trafficking, and attempted murder.

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