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(Reuters)   Silk Road shut down. Bonus: Not by the Ottomans   (reuters.com) divider line 153
    More: Interesting, Silk Road, FBI, digital currency, bitcoins, United States Attorney  
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6244 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Oct 2013 at 2:29 PM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-02 03:39:50 PM

Daedalus27: I understand he wanted a quality of life, but why was he living in San Francisco where the FBI could easily grab him? Didn't he learn any lessons from the Megaupload case where you need a jurisdiction that makes the FBI at least offer up a token case to extradite you back to the US. It certainly isn't complete protection, but by just sitting in the US, it becomes incredibly easy to get you into custody.


If you read the other article linked upthread he really comes across as overconfident and arrogant. Not surprised he was caught.
 
2013-10-02 03:39:56 PM
farm6.static.flickr.com
Got nuthin'
 
2013-10-02 03:41:03 PM

Theaetetus: Gargoyle: Firearms were not permitted and I think it highly unlikely that a contract for a killing was ever posted or entered into by DPR. That charge just doesn't ring true.

Allegedly, they have multiple private messages from him referring to it, including a photo of the victim.


You mean something like this:
farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2013-10-02 03:46:11 PM
Hey, what about the BTC that people have there in their accounts?

The FBI is just 'seizing' the site and keeping everyone's BTC?

There were totally legal things to buy there. (In fact, couldn't you legally buy Marijuana from SR if you lived in Washington & Colorado?- well not Federally I guess) So the feds don't really have the right to seize everyone's BTC in my opinion.

It would be like seizing your bank account because the BANK was doing something nefarious.

I know, not exactly, but it is a point to ponder.
 
2013-10-02 03:46:26 PM

thetrenchcoat: It;s bad PR for TOR. If the Feds can catch criminals who use TOR then who's to say that less than reputable governments won't be able to track down dissidents through TOR?


Yeah, but they didn't catch him due to a weakness in TOR.  They caught him because he farked up.
 
2013-10-02 03:50:21 PM

Headso: I would have never thought that site was run out of the US... huh...


site...  Run Out of the US... R.O.U.S... I didn't think they existed.

/inconceivable!
 
2013-10-02 03:50:24 PM
QFTA:

The complaint described other aspects of Ulbricht's online presence: In a Google+ profile, he described himself as a fan of libertarian economic philosophy and posted videos from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, an Auburn, Alabama-based economics institute.

I bought my drugs with ONE SILVER BITCOIN!!1!

It doesn't get any better than this. LOL.
 
2013-10-02 03:50:42 PM

Grandemadaca: [farm6.static.flickr.com image 500x327]
Got nuthin'


freshstylemag.com
 
2013-10-02 03:53:41 PM

ShawnDoc: thetrenchcoat: It;s bad PR for TOR. If the Feds can catch criminals who use TOR then who's to say that less than reputable governments won't be able to track down dissidents through TOR?

Yeah, but they didn't catch him due to a weakness in TOR.  They caught him because he farked up.


True, but compound this with the Freedom Hosting child porn sites and it makes it look like TOR has security issues.

Sometimes perception is everything.
 
2013-10-02 03:55:01 PM

Hoblit: Hey, what about the BTC that people have there in their accounts?


Everyone's bitcoins were tumbled together so now they are all available to seizure thru RICO.
 
2013-10-02 03:55:44 PM

Endive Wombat: incendi: Elegy: Just curious if tor has been cracked by the Feds.

From the report, I don't think so.

However, from the Snowden affair, we know that the answer could be "Yes, but that's classified, so we have concocted a dubious but legally sufficient evidence trail that we can claim we followed without revealing that we've cracked tor."

If they have cracked Tor, are their cracking efforts technically legal?


Given that the CIA created TOR (and runs most of the exit nodes), yes, the government has cracked TOR (for certain definitions of cracked).  It's not terribly hard, it just requires owning most of the nodes.
 
2013-10-02 04:02:26 PM

hardinparamedic: useless extranational currency


The easiest thing you said which disproves itself.

And if people didn't use drugs, you would be out of a job pretty quick I imagine, then what would you fill your bio with?
 
2013-10-02 04:07:53 PM

ShawnDoc: Yeah, but they didn't catch him due to a weakness in TOR.


The FBI is not advertising a weakness in Tor. They say that they had him made from an email address that he used on StackOverflow.

This does not mean that there are not backdoors into tracing people on Tor, or that the FBI doesn't know about them or doesn't use them. It means that the FBI feels that they had their man (indeed, for months) and that they would present the evidence that they felt was most damaging to the Honorable Frank Maas.

As far as many of the other charges go -I am skeptical of Law Enforcement's evidence. They have been known to fabricate evidence when it suits them, even corroborate each other's story's (Like:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_evidence#FBI_scandal ). They were monitoring the Silkroad server in a foreign country for months. Was the chain of evidence followed, who was allowed to get on there?

I'm guessing that more than one in the FBI's  computer forensics unit had the motive, the opportunity and the means to plant damaging evidence on that remote server. Even if Ulbrecht was guilty of managing it.
 
2013-10-02 04:09:23 PM

Elegy: The Onion is prophetic: So the guy was basically caught because he advertised his site on a drug forum with the username 'altoid', then 8 months later used the same username on a different site, asking for advice on how to configure TOR sites, with responses to be sent to a gmail account with his real name on it.  Real smooth.

Does anyone have any technical details on how they caught him?

AFAIK, Silk Road was run off an onion link, which are supposed to be untraceable. Users would have only been able to connect to the hidden service through tor, which provides anonymity for both the owner of the hidden service and the user.

Just curious if tor has been cracked by the Feds.


The Slate article on it says that their first lead was Canadian customs randomly intercepting a package of (fake IDs?) sent to his apartment.

Among other circumstantial evidence was a Stack Overflow question he posted under his own name about connecting to a Tor hidden service through PHP; the server turned out to have code much like that in the question.

So Tor and Bitcoin stayed secure, assuming that's all true and the complete story.
 
2013-10-02 04:14:24 PM

Headso: I would have never thought that site was run out of the US... huh...


Pg 14
During the course of this investigation, the FBI has located a number of computer servers, both in the United States and in multiple foreign countries, associated with the operation of Silk Road. In particular, the FBI has located in a certain foreign country the server used to host Silk Road's website (the "Silk Road Web Server"). Pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request, an image of the Silk Road Web Server was made on or about July 23, 2013.
 
2013-10-02 04:35:35 PM

The Onion is prophetic: So the guy was basically caught because he advertised his site on a drug forum with the username 'altoid', then 8 months later used the same username on a different site, asking for advice on how to configure TOR sites, with responses to be sent to a gmail account with his real name on it.  Real smooth.


I don't buy that story.

I think the DEA/FBI is backtracking to cover the real source.

Why would that one post be brought to the attention of the DEA/FBI out of the entire Interenet?

And didn't DPE claim he was the second owner of the Silk Road?
 
2013-10-02 04:36:45 PM

Gaseous Anomaly: The Slate article on it says that their first lead was Canadian customs randomly intercepting a package of (fake IDs?) sent to his apartment.


How randomly convenient.
 
2013-10-02 04:40:22 PM

Theaetetus: Gargoyle: Firearms were not permitted and I think it highly unlikely that a contract for a killing was ever posted or entered into by DPR. That charge just doesn't ring true.

Allegedly, they have multiple private messages from him referring to it, including a photo of the victim.


According to the court documents, no one with that name lives in Canada and no murders in the supposed home town.
 
2013-10-02 04:42:38 PM

Endive Wombat: incendi: Elegy: Just curious if tor has been cracked by the Feds.

From the report, I don't think so.

However, from the Snowden affair, we know that the answer could be "Yes, but that's classified, so we have concocted a dubious but legally sufficient evidence trail that we can claim we followed without revealing that we've cracked tor."

If they have cracked Tor, are their cracking efforts technically legal?


TOR was originally a government project.
 
2013-10-02 04:57:45 PM
The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.

/hire a lawyer drug dealers, do it now, before you get caught not after they seize your farking assets
 
2013-10-02 04:59:07 PM

George Babbitt: hardinparamedic: useless extranational currency

The easiest thing you said which disproves itself.

And if people didn't use drugs, you would be out of a job pretty quick I imagine, then what would you fill your bio with?


More rants about BitCoins, obviously.
 
2013-10-02 05:14:17 PM

js34603: The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.

/hire a lawyer drug dealers, do it now, before you get caught not after they seize your farking assets


I knew a guy that gave his lawyer a safety deposit box key in case of just such an emergency.  The only problem was the staggering amount of money he put into the thing and it just sat there.  We're talking 7 figures.
 
2013-10-02 05:26:21 PM

mcreadyblue: Theaetetus: Gargoyle: Firearms were not permitted and I think it highly unlikely that a contract for a killing was ever posted or entered into by DPR. That charge just doesn't ring true.

Allegedly, they have multiple private messages from him referring to it, including a photo of the victim.

According to the court documents, no one with that name lives in Canada and no murders in the supposed home town.


And? As long as they're charging him with solicitation to commit murder, rather than murder, that's irrelevant. I know of a guy who contacted a cop (unwittingly) to hire him to kill a guy who stole from him. Sure, the cop didn't do it, but the guy was still convicted of solicitation.
 
2013-10-02 05:41:03 PM

timujin: rk1i: timujin?

Nope, not me.


just askin'.  'cuz last time, it was.  maybe you've mellowed in the last 800 years.
 
2013-10-02 05:42:33 PM

George Babbitt: The easiest thing you said which disproves itself.


Please, tell me how it's useful, other than to trade for illicit goods and services on the darknet? Or how it's value is in exchange to national-backed currencies?

Oh, wait. I've got a few. I'll just go down to the pub an...well, damn.
Well, I need a gallon of milk, so I'll just go to the groc- oh COME ON.
 
2013-10-02 06:32:21 PM

hardinparamedic: George Babbitt: The easiest thing you said which disproves itself.

Please, tell me how it's useful, other than to trade for illicit goods and services on the darknet?


Cyprus, April 2013 - Google it.
 
2013-10-02 06:40:50 PM

Theaetetus: mcreadyblue: Theaetetus: Gargoyle: Firearms were not permitted and I think it highly unlikely that a contract for a killing was ever posted or entered into by DPR. That charge just doesn't ring true.

Allegedly, they have multiple private messages from him referring to it, including a photo of the victim.

According to the court documents, no one with that name lives in Canada and no murders in the supposed home town.

And? As long as they're charging him with solicitation to commit murder, rather than murder, that's irrelevant. I know of a guy who contacted a cop (unwittingly) to hire him to kill a guy who stole from him. Sure, the cop didn't do it, but the guy was still convicted of solicitation.


Can you be convicted of trying to kill someone that doesn't exist?
 
2013-10-02 06:43:04 PM

mcreadyblue: Theaetetus: mcreadyblue: Theaetetus: Gargoyle: Firearms were not permitted and I think it highly unlikely that a contract for a killing was ever posted or entered into by DPR. That charge just doesn't ring true.

Allegedly, they have multiple private messages from him referring to it, including a photo of the victim.

According to the court documents, no one with that name lives in Canada and no murders in the supposed home town.

And? As long as they're charging him with solicitation to commit murder, rather than murder, that's irrelevant. I know of a guy who contacted a cop (unwittingly) to hire him to kill a guy who stole from him. Sure, the cop didn't do it, but the guy was still convicted of solicitation.

Can you be convicted of trying to kill someone that doesn't exist?


I think the "To Catch a Predator" stings have shown that you can be convicted of soliciting minors for sex when the minors never existed in the first place. I don't think it's much of a stretch to apply that to murder for hire.
 
2013-10-02 06:56:20 PM
Can you be convicted of trying to kill someone that doesn't exist?

I think the "To Catch a Predator" stings have shown that you can be convicted of soliciting minors for sex when the minors never existed in the first place. I don't think it's much of a stretch to apply that to murder for hire. I don't know.


FTFY. You're welcome.
 
2013-10-02 07:09:46 PM
Ars Technica has a great article on this, as is usual for Ars.

Apparently poor operational security did the guy in.

Fascinating read.
 
2013-10-02 07:11:19 PM

The Billdozer: I cant help but to picture the authorities carrying these huge 8-bit cardboard cutouts of moneybags to represent the Bitcoins they "seized".


hahahaha
 
2013-10-02 07:13:39 PM
I figured Silk Road was too confusing.  So I found Topix.com.  It's amazing.  Sure, it's illegal, but you know what?  Cops don't care about the little guys.  So now I have 3 different connections (all chicks) for my weekly Oxy uh..."hobby".  Been using em for over a year.  First name basis, can buy on "credit", the whole nine yards.

/bills are paid, make a good living
 
2013-10-02 07:14:10 PM

hardinparamedic: George Babbitt: The easiest thing you said which disproves itself.

Please, tell me how it's useful, other than to trade for illicit goods and services on the darknet? Or how it's value is in exchange to national-backed currencies?

Oh, wait. I've got a few. I'll just go down to the pub an...well, damn.
Well, I need a gallon of milk, so I'll just go to the groc- oh COME ON.


Seriously. And not being snarky: You have a bit to learn.

Cryptocurrency has great value that no other payment/value transfer mechanism has.

It can - theoretically - be used to buy milk, And some day that may be commonplace. I have BTC on my phone that I could use for such a transaction this minute.

It can be used to engage in a two party "escrowed" transaction. Something that is impossible with any other currency.

It is accepted anywhere you can get a signal. No other payment mechanism does that. PayPal, Visa, MC etc refuse certain countries - like Nigeria for instance. I would have no hesitation selling something to a buyer in Lagos if he paid in BTC. I would not accept any other method of payment.

Some of the capabilities are just flat out novel: colored coin for instance. Something that we normal humans have no previous frame of reference with which to compare. An intelligent house that is transferred cryptographically.

It's geek wankin material.
 
2013-10-02 07:19:08 PM
Really deserved an Obvious tag.

I am enjoying Bitcoin's plunge, too.
 
2013-10-02 07:25:56 PM
mcreadyblue:

Can you be convicted of trying to kill someone that doesn't exist?

It will depend on your jurisdiction and the details of the case, but in general, yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossibility_defense
 
2013-10-02 07:26:23 PM
should've called Saul
 
2013-10-02 07:26:54 PM

Ricardo Klement: Really deserved an Obvious tag.

I am enjoying Bitcoin's plunge, too.


a) Why would you care?

b) Plunge? It's up something like 1000% in the last year. It's currently trading at $107. Which is where it was in late August. So after the horrible news of SR, has set it back ~6 weeks.
 
2013-10-02 07:53:31 PM

Gargoyle: Ricardo Klement: Really deserved an Obvious tag.

I am enjoying Bitcoin's plunge, too.

a) Why would you care?

b) Plunge? It's up something like 1000% in the last year. It's currently trading at $107. Which is where it was in late August. So after the horrible news of SR, has set it back ~6 weeks.


a) It's entertaining to see people who hate fiat currency love bitcoin

b) Wait.
 
2013-10-02 07:57:29 PM
Black Market Reloaded still ok?

/probably not
 
2013-10-02 07:58:39 PM

Ricardo Klement: Gargoyle: Ricardo Klement: Really deserved an Obvious tag.

I am enjoying Bitcoin's plunge, too.

a) Why would you care?

b) Plunge? It's up something like 1000% in the last year. It's currently trading at $107. Which is where it was in late August. So after the horrible news of SR, has set it back ~6 weeks.

a) It's entertaining to see people who hate fiat currency love bitcoin

b) Wait.


OK, so why not short BTC and make some real $'s?  (Then I could see why you'd be enjoying the plunge)
 
2013-10-02 08:24:33 PM

Gargoyle: Ricardo Klement: Gargoyle: Ricardo Klement: Really deserved an Obvious tag.

I am enjoying Bitcoin's plunge, too.

a) Why would you care?

b) Plunge? It's up something like 1000% in the last year. It's currently trading at $107. Which is where it was in late August. So after the horrible news of SR, has set it back ~6 weeks.

a) It's entertaining to see people who hate fiat currency love bitcoin

b) Wait.

OK, so why not short BTC and make some real $'s?  (Then I could see why you'd be enjoying the plunge)


Excellent question! Really, the primary reason I don't short it is that I don't know how long this will take. I also consider such investment in a highly volatile market to be a risk level I am not comfortable with. Is it possible bitcoin will have a long run? Maybe. If it does, I actually have a reason to want it to succeed: it would help economists like myself capture information about the illicit market that is normally left out of economic calculations.

Money is a human contrivance, of course, and watching people who don't trust government with its checks and balances go hog-wild over a currency that has even less reason to be trusted is truly a spectacular thing.
 
2013-10-02 08:42:23 PM
Old_Chief_Scott and Bill_Wick's_Friend almost had the coolest simulpost EVER.
 
2013-10-02 09:08:32 PM

rk1i: timujin: rk1i: timujin?

Nope, not me.

just askin'.  'cuz last time, it was.  maybe you've mellowed in the last 800 years.


Old age'll do that to ya.
 
2013-10-02 09:17:39 PM

js34603: The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.

/hire a lawyer drug dealers, do it now, before you get caught not after they seize your farking assets


Federal public defenders are usually pretty solid lawyers unlike the crap shoot you have at the state level public defenders. The federal public defenders are experienced attorneys who can handle cases like this. They have the funding and resources to do complex cases like this will need given the electronic evidence.  If you go private on something like this, it will costs a huge amount for the experts you will need.  If I were in his shoes, I would serious consider utilizing their services as they can probably do just as well if not better than private counsel.
 
2013-10-02 09:20:05 PM

Daedalus27: js34603: The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.

/hire a lawyer drug dealers, do it now, before you get caught not after they seize your farking assets

Federal public defenders are usually pretty solid lawyers unlike the crap shoot you have at the state level public defenders. The federal public defenders are experienced attorneys who can handle cases like this. They have the funding and resources to do complex cases like this will need given the electronic evidence.  If you go private on something like this, it will costs a huge amount for the experts you will need.  If I were in his shoes, I would serious consider utilizing their services as they can probably do just as well if not better than private counsel.



My experience is completely the opposite.  Overworked, inattentive, doing the bare minimum possible for each client.
 
2013-10-02 09:38:03 PM

BafflerMeal: Daedalus27: js34603: The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.

/hire a lawyer drug dealers, do it now, before you get caught not after they seize your farking assets

Federal public defenders are usually pretty solid lawyers unlike the crap shoot you have at the state level public defenders. The federal public defenders are experienced attorneys who can handle cases like this. They have the funding and resources to do complex cases like this will need given the electronic evidence.  If you go private on something like this, it will costs a huge amount for the experts you will need.  If I were in his shoes, I would serious consider utilizing their services as they can probably do just as well if not better than private counsel.


My experience is completely the opposite.  Overworked, inattentive, doing the bare minimum possible for each client.



That'd be the private criminal attorneys: paid a flat fee, in advance, and so therefore have an incentive to do the absolute minimum.
 
2013-10-03 01:47:58 AM

js34603: The strange part of this is he's running a multi million dollar operation and still got a public defender. WTF.


What's he going to pay the high priced lawyer in, Bitcoin?

Because People in power are Stupid: Headso: I would have never thought that site was run out of the US... huh...

Pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request, an image of the Silk Road Web Server was made on or about July 23, 2013.


One might wonder how it was the FBI managed to locate and obtain an image of this server "in a certain foreign country".  Indeed if a Judge were to exclude this evidence at trial it would be much more difficult to tie Ulbricht to DPR.
 
2013-10-03 06:29:59 AM

grovestreetgoon: One might wonder how it was the FBI managed to locate and obtain an image of this server "in a certain foreign country".  Indeed if a Judge were to exclude this evidence at trial it would be much more difficult to tie Ulbricht to DPR.


I wonder which country it's in. They might be suppressing this because if it were in *ahem* Sweden -there might be some local privacy laws that the FBI is violating. They best not tell anyone or get that country's citizens up in arms.
 
2013-10-03 07:48:28 AM

Elegy: Ars Technica has a great article on this, as is usual for Ars.

Apparently poor operational security did the guy in.

Fascinating read.


It was a good read.  This from the article caught my eye:

Wednesday's complaint comes a two months after FBI agents exploited a vulnerability in the Firefox browser to unmask Tor users suspected of participating in a child pornography site. There's no evidence Silk Road was brought down through similar tactics, although at this early stage they can't be ruled out conclusively.

I might be mis-remembering but... when I looked into Tor a couple months back, the browser bundle looked a lot like Firefox.  Maybe the security vunderability is in the browser and not the TOR routing strategy.
 
2013-10-03 11:14:21 AM

grovestreetgoon: What's he going to pay the high priced lawyer in, Bitcoin?


That would be entirely feasible if not for the fact that all of his holdings were stolen by the government prior to conviction.
 
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