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The beginning of the end?

And so timezones screwed me over and I’ve just woken up to the news that the Dread Pirate Roberts has been arrested. I haven’t even had my second coffee yet, nor have I been able to digest what’s happened, but I’m pretty sure my blog is well on its way to most hits ever for a day.

What you'll see if you try to go to Silk Road today
What you’ll see if you try to go to Silk Road today – note the Silk Road Camel watermark

I’m getting quite a few hits from the UK’s Telegraph that is inventing weird stories about Silk Road providing access to real-life gladiator fights (not only do they not exist on the dark web, SR never even tried to scam anyone into believing they could provide access)

The 39-page Criminal Complaint and the 12-page FBI Indictment is available for all to see and apparently this is Ross Ulbricht, AKA Dread Pirate Roberts, Youtube page and videos. And of course, there are questions about which Dread Pirate Roberts he is.

The Silk Road forums hit their most users online ever today and there has been an outpouring of messages thanking Silk Road and DPR for the ride, many emotional and claiming the online black market saved their lives. Others are already setting up vendor accounts elsewhere on the dark web.

More to come.

7 Responses

  1. Hope your book is coming along well 🙂

    Since your Gmail account and computer are probably open book for the police I shall reply here directly. Also others can read. Openness and transparency and shit.

    I don’t believe a great deal of what I’m hearing right now. A lot of it is almost certainly lies.

    Thanks to Mr Snowden we are aware that the NSA is involved in parallel construction with the DEA and FBI. That is not something we thought very likely before recently. The reasons why are interesting, but unfortunately wrong.

    So this absolutely stinks of that. Specifically the incident where the dummy IDs where “discovered”. And an IP address of his VPN hardcoded into SR server’s software. And if I’m reading it correctly it says he was connecting from said VPN to SSH into SR’s server so he was 1 hop and a subpoena from compromise.

    The slip ups made in 2011 seem plausible. That kind of thing is natural even for the more paranoid among us, at least in the pre-Snowden era. But the more technical it gets the less it holds together.

    I noticed similar weirdness when it came to Sabu of Anonymous being brought down. Not at first I’ll admit, but in retrospect that story doesn’t really hang together either. It’s not that smart people can’t cock it up. It’s that plucking the one time somebody goofed out of a bazillion strands of information such as IP addresses connected to an IRC or linking some nym out of the trillion code related queries on StackExchange… well. It just doesn’t seem very likely. There are interesting ‘leaps’ occurring here over thin air. That they are actually correct is of secondary importance. Seems to me the answers were in the back of the textbook and the student worked backwards from the answer.

    On the other hand, if you assume mass surveillance on literally everybody then all this makes perfect sense.

    The other thing is that I don’t believe that DPR was hiring hitmen. I believe it even less when he wired money from one bank to another bank in Ozland. It doesn’t particularly phase me if he did order some executions (the anarchocapitalist NAP doesn’t imply pacifism, it merely implies you don’t go around murdering people without provocation), it is just that I do not believe it. I mean if you and I were planning a murder Eiley, you bet all your BTC that we’d be doing in in GPG and instantly destroying those messages afterwards. Because Duh.

    Some people are immediately going to spin this into a story of “How To Not Do OpSec”. But in my view that would be jumping to conclusions. Until I see actual evidence presented, and boy I don’t mean “digital evidence”, because that bit pattern isn’t worth the hard drive platter it’s magnetized on, only cryptographic or biological proof is worth anything, I’m not buying.

    In my view the big picture off and away from the Silk Road is the truly chilling one. Snowden showed us what the world really is, and DPR showed us what it could be, if temporarily. Things are not looking good for democracy OR markets. There’s a connection between free elections and free markets, and those people whooping and cheering at SR’s downfall right now, well, they won’t be so happy with the bigger implications of what that means later on.

  2. William Foxton is a fucking joke of a reporter. There are kids in high school that know more about this stuff than him. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem except this is supposed to be his job. He’s turning the Telegraph into a tabloid.

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