It sounds like a Hollywood movie: A 29-year-old in San Francisco calling himself “Dread Pirate Roberts” masterminds an online black market for drugs and other illicit goods, allegedly hires a hit man to take out someone threatening to expose him, and the FBI swoops in and arrests him at a local branch library. That’s the story of Silk Road, a sort of eBay for illicit goods, which only accepted the open-source electronic money, Bitcoin. We discuss the Silk Road bust and the “deep web” of sites that give its users anonymity, and what implications this will have for Bitcoin.

FBI Shuts Down Silk Road, but the ‘Deep Web’ Lives On 4 October,2013forum

Parker Higgins, activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Jerry Brito, senior research fellow and director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Andy Greenberg, staff writer for Forbes, covering data security, privacy and hacker culture

  • Fred

    Tor is a tool that everyone should be using. Hard drugs are something no one should be using. The truth is, our overbearing government can’t control either activity.

    If our government were serious about eradicating illicit drugs, it would not be ordering our military to protect poppy fields in Afghanistan on behalf of the CIA. As always we need to ask, whom is our government actually serving, because it’s surely not the citizenry.

    And while the FBI is ostensibly the good guy in this bust, keep in mind there is much evidence they helped protect the actual perpetrators of 9/11 i.e. those people who rigged World Trade Center building 7 and the Twin Towers for controlled demolitions, and those people who sent some kind of missile into the Pentagon.
    More info:

    • Bob Fry

      You started out well, but then quickly degenerated into conspiracy craziness.

      • raisinbrandon

        I would follow the 9/11 family members directly. They will tell you a VERY different story than the one the media has brainwashed you into. Hundreds of them back the campaign demanding a new investigation through their organization There is truth to what Fred has said, and it is quite widely known here outside of the US that the official story in a very big and sophisticated lie. I just hope Americans wake up before they take away any more of their rights and freedoms.

      • Fred

        Bob, why are you afraid to think for yourself?

        OK, if you’re an expert on 9/11, tell me how WTC 7 collapsed at free-fall speed when it wasn’t hit by any planes nor major debris and only had small fires. Tell me, Bob, if you can.

        You can’t. You just want to keep head firmly in the sand like a hero.

  • AnonyÓðinn

    Relevant: ‘Darknet for Beginners: Nightweb, I2P, Tor over Meshnet, and More.’ I hope to soon have a new post up with recommendations for how you can easily transition to a better OS than what you may have, for example, for those interested in migrating to Ubuntu or Linux Gentoo. For now, this will do.

  • SiriusA

    “Dread Pirate Roberts” is from the William Goldman book (later movie) and one interesting fact is that the title is not given to one particular man but a succession of men who take on that title in order to wield the reputation. Interstingly, it sounds like there may have been more than one individual in this situation having more than one man.

    • James Ivey

      I was going to make the same point. However, not only may there have been more than one individual embodying the Dread Pirate Roberts, but we might not have seen the last of the Dread Pirate Roberts. The personality is there for others to adopt.

      • Bill_Woods

        “I’m Spartacus Dread Pirate Roberts!”
        “No, I am!”

  • Livegreen

    You’re missing a fundamental point about Dread Pirate Roberts in the movie: There were multiple generations of Dread Pirate Roberts as the name was passed on & on. One of your guests even said he interviewed a man who said he’s the 2nd one.

    My guess is this name will be picked up again, and that’s why the name was chosen in the first place.

  • Really? The government shut down WIC, the EPA and the CDC but the DEA is considered an “essential service”? Shaking my head at Uncle Sam.

    • Karl W. Braun

      Which services are to be shut down is at the discretion of the Executive Branch.

      • Eric

        By which you mean Uncle Tom Obama, who does whatever his 1% masters say.

        • Karl W. Braun


  • Max_1

    Congress managed to shut down the Government but couldn’t be bothered to shut down the NSA…

    • Karl W. Braun

      The Presidency determines what is to be actually shut down.

  • Russell Hinman

    Can anyone tell me why they trust tor? If the feds can find and bust the Silk Road and the kiddy porn, they can find you. It seems only safe for those the government doesn’t care about. In other words, it’s the internet, but slower.

  • Chris OConnell

    This was a good segment but I guess the story was a day early, in a way.

    “NSA and GCHQ Target Tor Network That Protects Anonymity of Web Users”

  • Bill Recto

    Dang this is like the real life breaking bad.

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