ANNOUNCEMENT: Since the Silk Road 2.0 bust by the feds a few other Darknet Markets have fallen. Silk Road 3 is up and running with a big selection of goods.
Once more, Alex Winter has proven himself as a thorough and dedicated researcher and documentary filmmaker. His newest release “Deep Web” is even far more convincing than the Downloaded (2013).
The topic of the movie, however, doesn’t cover the whole Deep Web, as the title suggests, but it’s narrowed to the whole Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts history. The Deep Web movie covers the complete story, from the foundation of the drug market website, to its final seizing and the conviction of its founder Ross Ulbricht.
As Winter says, Ulbricht was math and encryption enthusiast and the main idea behind the Silk Road network was to create secure and anonymous drug market and to stop violence in the drug selling world; not just between drug dealers themselves but the violence of FBI, DEA, LS and others who were in charge of the cases.
The Silk Road was an ideal place to sell and buy drugs. It offered high anonymity and user reviews made sellers more reliable. It was the largest darknet market in existence and since it was operating with TOR and Bitcoin it was completely untraceable. What’s more, it had everything – heroin, opium, psychedelics …
But, when things got real and the millions of dollars went through the system, it became suspicious and first traces occurred.
One of the first breakthroughs was made, unintentionally, by a mother of a fourteen year old who was suddenly interested in snail mail delivery. She opened one of his mails and found a DVD box with crystal meth inside.
Homeland Security investigators started intercepting mail and shipments from all over the world and found mail full of drugs and currency, all linked to Silk Road. The FBI simultaneously started its own investigation and it took them two years to actually catch the culprit.
Lot of noise was made about FBI’s apparent illegal activities while tracing down the hosting servers in Iceland and Germany. It is believed that they are actually hacked but FBI never revealed its method.
Ross admitted that he created Silk Road but he claimed that he wasn’t DPR, even though he was logged in into administrator panel of the website while being arrested. He claimed that the real DPR framed him.
One of the evidence that FBI used to link Ross Ulbricht to the Dread Pirate Roberts was a journal that was found on his laptop describing his involvement in the Silk Road and the bitcoins seized from his laptop came directly from the site.
Unfortunately, Winter wasn’t able to interview Ulbricht from prison because of the severity of the charges, however he did interviewed his family, friends and even the people involved directly in drug selling business.
To underline, Alex Winter has made an excellent documentary and didn’t not spare anyone, giving the complete insight of the story about a deep web, Silk Road drug market, and Ross Ulbricht and its definitely worth watching whether you are new to this topic or not.