This is from a site with the url of medium.com. I do not know anything about this site, or the credentials of the author to analyze the arrested of “Dread Pirate Robers” aka Ross William Ulbricht. But after looking over the criminal complaint and the public arrest records that are currently available, this assessment seems accurate.
I am neither condoning the behavior of Ross William Ulbricht, nor am I convinced that the allegations are true or accurate.
Law enforcement is well known for making up crimes as they go. Some times the allegations (in general) are accurate. But that is neither here nor there. I am just giving this information as a technical analysis to people who may try to follow in SilkRoad’s footsteps. In previous articles I have offered some technical information on how to ensure internet privacy, and how to safely (or at least as safely as I have observed) obtain needed medication like medical marijuana (ref: http://xcannabis.com/2013/08/nj-weedman-gets-his-medicine-by-mail-cannabis-delivery/). I do this because of how many people that I have lost to terminal illness that were close to me, who could have benefited from cannabis while fighting for their lives. I think the shady back-alley black market is a difficult and dangerous means to obtain needed medications. So I wanted to offer my analysis of how this online drug market works, and how to stay safe.
Well there is no better lessons than by learning from other people’s mistakes. So take this with a grain of salt, and be wise to the possibilities of available technology available to opponents of safe and natural medications.
- Advertised Silk Road days after it’s launch on drug forums and bitcointalk.org with the username “altoid”. 8 months later he used this username looking for developers and included his personal email (email@example.com) in the message.
- Using records from a seized webserver, the FBI agent subpoena’d his way back through a private VPN server to an IP address at a coffee shop on Laguna street in San Francisco. This happened to be 500 feet away from the house of one of Ross Ulbricht’s friends.
- US Customs intercepted a package containing 9 pieces of counterfeit id. All 9 had photos of Ross Ulbricht with different names.
- Ulbricht posted on Stack Overflow using his real name, asking “How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl in php?”. One minute later he changed his username to “frosty”, but a subpoena shows the original name.
There are more details in the full criminal complaint, but it’s clear this guy was an amateur for someone running the largest drug dealing website in the world.
It is said that many of the SilkRoad sellers have already started website’s of their own.
I do not vouch for, or have any way to help people find these website’s other than via doing independent research.
But I have read several articles stating that these site’s exist on the .onion network via using the TOR Browser.