The anonymous, online drug marketplace known as Silk Road is back up and running approximately four weeks after the feds shut them down. The resurgence of such a widely known drug ring that is anonymous yet so overtly obvious to anyone looking for the cartel (federal agents) is sort of puzzling.
What is puzzling is not the fact that they are back, because who wouldn’t want to run a billion-dollar cartel from their bedroom under a shroud of anonymity?
What is strange is the fact that the pseudonym Dread Pirate Roberts, the one used by Ross Ulbricht before he was indicted, is the very same name used by a Twitter user who announced the return of Silk Road.
It gets weirder. DPR has to give out invitations in order for new users to join. These invitations are given out on Twitter. In front of anyone who cares to look. Forget the NSA, we’re talking my grandma, your grandma, your goldfish who stares at your Twitter feed because your computer is always on (shut it down, save some energy).
Isn’t this sort of everything that Silk Road was against? Doing things in the open? In front of everyone? This seems to be a direct contradiction to the message that DPR brought to new users; he said that security would be “baked” into the interface, insuring that everyone’s identities would remain safe.
As users rush back to a site that was recently seized, they should be asking themselves two contingent questions:
How was the federal government so futile in its effort to exterminate a billion-dollar online drug ring that they had seized?
Seems really farfetched that they would let it get out of their grasp, so the real question they should be asking, unless they are totally delusional, is:
What are the odds that the government reactivated the site with the ability to track every single vendor and consumer in order to really crack down?
I’d say the answer to that is just about as high as the guys on Silk Road.
The U.S. government has cracked down so mercilessly recently on hackers that there is no way they would let this out of their grasp.
Here is some food for thought: Hector Xavier Monsegur, alias Sabu, was a member of the international hacking cohort known as Anonymous as well as the more ruthless sector Lulzsec. He was an active recruiter of hackers, but he later turned out to be an FBI informant.
Combined with the personalized entry invitations and the brash assurance of security and anonymity, it is not outside the realm of possibility that this Silk Road 2.0 is merely a façade by the feds to get the rest of the cartel.