One of the members of Onionland recently created a searchable version of the original Silk Road forums.  As you do, I went on a little trip down memory lane.

The darkweb Hydra effect.  Image: thedeathmonkee.deviantart.com

The darkweb Hydra effect. Image: thedeathmonkee.deviantart.com

In August 2012 in response to the thread ‘Think Silk Road will be around for a while’ I wrote:

I think that no matter what happens to Silk Road, it will go down in history as a turning point for a rethink of drug policy in the western world.  Now that it has been proven to be such a viable business model, even if it is somehow shut down, clones will pop up in its place within weeks.

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Whilst headlines and fund-raising efforts have been concentrated on Ross Ulbricht, accused of being Silk Road mastermind Dread Pirate Roberts, three other men have been stuck in limbo awaiting their fate outside of the limelight. But the three have been spending that time very differently indeed.

In December last year, three arrests were made concurrently in three different countries under the same indictment. Andrew Jones, USA, was accused of being Silk Road administrator “Inigo”; Gary Davis, Ireland, of being administrator “Libertas”; and Peter Nash, Australia, of being Silk Road forum moderator “Samesamebutdifferent” (SSBD).

Of the three co-accused, one has been in prison the whole time. One is under house arrest. One is basically a free man. But their fates seem to have little to do with the roles they allegedly played in the drugs marketplace.

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‘This could be it. This could be the killer application for bitcoin’ – Free Talk Live host, March 2011

Old School Silk Road... it came a long way

Old School Silk Road… it came a long way

Whilst researching the early days of Silk Road for my book, I came across a wonderful little piece of history: a radio show by Free Talk Live which ran a comprehensive piece on Silk Road on 17 March 2011 – around six weeks after Silk Road had launched and a good two-and-a-half months before Adrian Chen’s Gawker article. At the time, Silk Road had 151 registered users, 38 listings and 28 transactions to date. By the time it was shuttered in October 2013, it had just shy of a million registered users.

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VICE is onto the documentary, yours truly is bringing a book out. But who would’ve guessed that the most notorious online black market in the world could be coming to a theatre near you?

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Emerging playwright Alex Oates plans to bring his one-man play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. Like many young writers, he’s hoping to raise the funds for it – at least GBP11,000 – via crowdfunding. But his approach is a little different.

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Games Pirates Play

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Pirates
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Servers in North Korea, America (fuck yeah!) and literally in the clouds, buying their own country and winning an eBay bid to buy… well eBay. The Pirate Bay guys had some good times.

Sometimes Yo Ho Ho became Hee Hee Hee

Sometimes Yo Ho Ho became Hee Hee Hee

Last month I attended a Q&A session with the cofounder of The Pirate Bay (and User No.7), Tobias Andersson. He was one hell of a speaker and entertained the Melbourne Hack’n’Tell group for well over an hour, his speech peppered with jokes and wry observations.

Although Tobias answered questions on all manner of serious subjects thrown at him about copyright, the future of The Pirate Bay and government surveillance, he was most animated when talking about the fun times and practical jokes they played over the years.

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A surreal story has been playing out in the last 24 hours or so, ever since Newsweek promised the biggest story of the crypto-year. The unmasking of Satoshi Nakamoto. And the Real Satoshi may have just come out of the woodwork to respond.

50 minutes ago, this post appeared on the P2P Foundation forum, the same place Nakamoto unleashed his White Paper on Bitcoin in 2009:

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Most likely a joke on the part of the administrators of the forum. But what prompted the post? A series of events that have reached high farce.

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I have a new PGP key…

Posted: February 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have a new PGP key. It can be found in the ‘About’ page of this site.

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I took may Mac to the Genius Bar recently and the genius decided I need to do a full clean reinstall. I had done a Time Machine backup before going, so I didn’t think much of it.

Unfortunately, I foolishly neglected to export my private key to a USB before doing the reinstall. I thought I would get my key back by restoring from the backup. Newsflash: that doesn’t work.

So I can’t decrypt anything encrypted to my old key. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes.