Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Last month a friend who had just started reading my book rang me almost hyperventilating. “It’s Landmark!” she said. “It’s fucking Landmark!”

Did DPR copy'n'paste for his charter?

Did DPR copy’n’paste for his charter?

She had noticed some startling similarities between the Landmark Forum’s 2020 Charter (which seems to have been superseded since it was written in the 90’s) and the Silk Road Charter, which is quoted at the beginning of the book. As a long-time member of Landmark (a “group awareness training seminar” that many have accused of having all the aspects of a cult), she recognised the words immediately. She followed up by email, and wrote:

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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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‘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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As my book deadline closes in really really fast, there are a few people I was having email correspondence with who used Tormail addresses and I’ve now lost contact. I really would like to hear from them again. And a few others to boot…

Help me get this Silk Road book finished!

Help me get this Silk Road book finished!

The rub is, I don’t want to name the three I most want to hear back from, because I promised I wouldn’t out them by username. So… if you think there’s any chance you might be one of the people I’m talking about, please get in contact soon! Think money laundering, security, moderating…

And it’s a long shot, but if Atlantis’s Loera and/or Vlad, or EnterTheMatrix or Tony76 (assuming you haven’t really been contract-killed) would care to get in touch with me I’d love to hear from you too. :)

Anyone else who has anything unique to share – especially ex-SR mods/admins or No.1 vendors or anyone who got arrested etc – who would care to get in touch, please do.

I’ve had an overwhelming number of SR buyers and sellers tell me their stories or offer to help and have tried to respond to them all, but if I missed you, please accept my most sincere apologies.

x Eiley

Silk Road may be gone and Silk Road v.2 yet to prove itself, but the site has become culturally significant enough to attract the attention of some serious academic researchers. And unlike the plethora of tabloid news pieces, their starting position is not always that the online black market is a den of evil inhabited by junkies and thieves with no redeeming features whatsoever.

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The National Drug and Research Institute is a Curtin University-backed research body committed to minimising the harm associated with drug use. The NDRI is calling for Silk Road users to participate in research and interviews about their experiences using the site.

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