Silk Road. The Amazon for drugs & rock ‘n’roll

silk_road_stefania_goldman

Amazon.com is a perfect place to get yourself an originally fake Louis Vuitton handbag or to cry at the desk if you are (un) fortunate enough to be an Amazonian. Today I’m gonna talk about its counterpart – Silk Road.

Silk Road was a place where you could have bought a gun or any other weapon, stolen credit card details or drugs. Moreover, one could have purchased pirated software… like they didn’t know this is what the Russian Internet was invented for.

How did the Silk Road come about? A young American, Ross Ulbricht, came to a conclusion that the government and the tax system are pure evil. We all hate the IRS, but still… The marketplace for drugs was designed to be “a social experiment”. Ross wrote that “every transaction on the Silk Road means taking a step towards universal freedom” and “even though objects sold on the website are not legal, they shouldn’t be used to hurt anyone”. What a thoughtful young man. I’m sure that $1 billion of income made on Silk Road was an unintended side effect of “the social experiment”.

How is it even possible that this shady website would run? Shouldn’t appropriate services have taken care of it? Like the FBI or the Noble Committee to hand Ross a Nobel Peace Prize? After all, if Vladimir Putin became a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, why wouldn’t a drug lord get a prize in the name of… fuck knows what?

Silk Road was buried deep down in the Dark Web. The FBI couldn’t just shut it down, as it had no clue what was its server’s location. The currency used on Silk Road was Bitcoin – which, just like cash, is untraceable. (Unfortunately, you can’t make it rain). Of course it did not make things easier.

However, appropriate agencies did take actions. It was the FBI, the IRS, Homeland Security, and United States Postal Inspection Service along with the Spiderman, Rambo and Fantastic Four. This is what the manhunt in the US looks like: make it big.

How did the services track Ross down? And how could they know that he was the website admin? Apparently he was not careful enough and while ordering a murder he left on a forum his private e-mail, which stated his name and surname.

Yeah, right. A guy who was smart enough to set up an untraceable website, was somehow too dumb to cover his online traces. It seems just as probable as Putin finally coming clean and stating that the Russian troops enjoy recreational manhunt in Ukraine and then saying that it was an innocent joke.

I’m sure that the FBI had not employed savvy hackers who would illegally get all the dirt on Ross Ulbricht. Dear Internet users, my head is pregnant with questions. How should the government deal with online crime? Shouldn’t there be any ethical code in place? What should be the limits of government’s interference?

Continue enjoying watching cute cats on YouTube.