What do me and Charles Bukowski have in common?
Okay, that may be a little hyperbolic, but for the answer you are going to have to check out my guest blog for the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Fun fact: the proper technical term for dark web sites is hidden services. It’s easy to forget what this implies, but as I’ve been researching the past couple of months for a new book, I’ve been reminded of how the dark web is designed to work.
When people ask what’s on the dark web, those who reply will tell them all about the sites that they found once they downloaded Tor and “went exploring” or “browsing” (usually from finding The Hidden Wiki and clicking on some links). Check out the 11,000 comments on this thread on Reddit to see what I mean. (And for something fabulously weird, somebody for some reason decided to narrate a comment I made)
Yesterday I posted Silk Road moderator Peter N’s story. It gained a lot of attention from supporters and haters alike. It also got noticed by someone else. And I’m no longer sure which category they belong in.
I was surprised to receive not only a comment on the blog, but also a personal email from the Chief Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY. It seems they had taken umbrage at the line:
It must have been disappointing for the prosecution who asked for an extra 10-12 years to add to the 18 months he’s already spent inside.
It may have been my unnecessarily bitchy reporting of those numbers that got up the Chief Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY’s nose so much that they took the time to write personally. I was quite wrong, they assured me:
18 months after being arrested in Brisbane, Australian man Peter N. has been sentenced to time served by a United States judge. That means he is a free man.
It must have been disappointing for the prosecution who asked for an extra 10-12 years to add to the 18 months he’s already spent inside.[EDIT: See correction here] In that time he has been placed in protective custody, bashed by prison guards, extradited to the other side of the world, and separated from his family and friends.
His crime? He moderated an internet discussion forum. Now, for the first time, he tells his story (more…)
Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted earlier this year of being Dread Pirate Roberts, owner of online drugs bazaar Silk Road, is due to be sentenced next Friday.
Australians were over-represented as customers of Silk Road (third largest user base by identified country according to FBI documents) and now it seems we will be over-represented at Ross Ulbricht’s sentencing hearing too. On both sides of the courtroom.
The prosecution is seeking to admit testimony of six families of Silk Road customers who died from drug overdoses or other complications whilst using drugs alleged to have come from Silk Road. Three of those victims – Preston Bridge, Jacob Lyon-Green and Scott Wilsdon – are Australians.
… at his sentencing next week
Ross Ulbricht, convicted of being the Dread Pirate Roberts, owner and operator of the original Silk Road, is due to be sentenced next Friday. And his family would be happy to see you there.
“It would be good to have some support. I think it’s going to be very difficult,” said Ross’ mother, Lyn, who has campaigned tirelessly on his behalf. It is clearly taking its toll on her and the rest of the family and no wonder – even the “best” outcome is pretty shitty.