Posts Tagged ‘dark web’

It is a year to the day since three alleged moderators/administrators of Silk Road were arrested.

I posted an update on where the three were here. Little has changed as they face another Christmas break in limbo.

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In particular, the one who got the rawest deal, Aussie Peter Nash (accused of being forum moderator Samesamebutdifferent), is in New York prison. He remains positive and philosophical, and has this message:

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ALL WELCOME

Thursday 11 December 6.30 pm

Come and enjoy complimentary nibbles (drinks at bar prices) at one of St Kilda’s coolest secret venues for the launch of “Silk Road” by Eileen Ormsby and screening of acclaimed documentary #TheBitcoinDoco by Dale Dickins.

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Be at The George Lane bar, 1 George Lane (enter from Grey Street near corner Fitzroy Street) St Kilda

Thursday 11 December 6.30 pm

You’re welcome if you’d like to:

- see a screening of one section of TheBitcoinDoco (10 mins) and chat with Dale (and maybe Chris) for a 20 mins of Q&A
– hear an EXCLUSIVE never-before-told behind-the-scenes story of Silk Road – and it’s a doozy!
– chat with Eileen in a Q&A session about Silk Road and her doozy story.
– listen in as a mystery speaker talks about online privacy.

And of course, there will be books for sale, book signings (BYO or buy on the night), cool tunes and partying.

ALSO: a Bitcoin machine on site with plenty of people to answer your questions and get you started in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency if you want.

More about Eileen and Silk Road: http://www.allthingsvice.com
More about The Bitcoin Doco: http://www.thebitcoindoco.com

After last night’s 60 Minutes, any parent could be forgiven for barging into their teen’s bedroom and confiscating their computer, terrified that their offspring is accessing the 90% of the hidden internet filled with hitmen, weapons and drugs. Teens everywhere are doing it apparently.

Image: "Dark Web" http://pisceanval.deviantart.com

Image: “Dark Web” http://pisceanval.deviantart.com

The 60 Minutes report is available here: 60 Minutes report on The Dark Web from video.au.msn.com

Whilst parents need to be vigilant in protecting their children, this sort of scare-mongering does nothing to advance the drug debate. Parents would do better educating their kids and being aware of where the true dangers lie in illicit drug-taking: adulterated substances being sold as something else, dodgy clones of well-researched drugs, misinformation about the effects of different types of drugs and potential violence in a drug deal.

Here is an analysis of what I believe the 60 Minutes piece either got wrong, misrepresented or exaggerated: (more…)

For the first time since its original incarnation’s launch in January 2011, Silk Road has been knocked off as the dark market’s leader. It now comes in third.

According to Vault 43, Evolution has 15,851 listings, Agora 15,522 and Silk Road a mere 11,025 listings.

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“While our staff is the largest and most experienced in the darknet, we understand that marketplace diversity is a very good thing for our community,” says current leader of Silk Road, Defcon. “We already have a massive target on our foreheads from international press coverage. We welcome competitors.”

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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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