DailyPost 347


Silk Road is a online black market  & is the first modern Darknet marketplace famous for  illegal drug trade . It is the  iconic brand ambassador  for what the Darknet & its anonymity, stands for. It  takes its name from the  historically famous “Silk Road”  a network of trade routes created under the Han Dynasty  dealing in silk trade.

The modern day  Darknet version of Silk Road  was founded in the year 2011  by  pseudonymous “Dread Pirate Roberts”  espousing libertarian ideals in the online crime format. He was a great critic of  regulation of any type.  Variety  Jones and Smedley  are other two, critical to the site’s growth & its stupendous success. It was dealing in hundred of millions of dollars of illegal trade,  completely outside the gamut of law  & a open challenge to law enforcement agencies worldwide.

FBI was first to get into the act amongst the law enforcement agencies.  In October 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was able to shut down the website.  It’s great success was in the arrest of  Ross William Ulbricht,  the real man behind the pseudonymous “Dread Pirate Roberts.” These online marketplaces have the tenacity to spring back in no time, given the nature of this medium & its anonymity. Thus, on the  6th November 2013, Silk Road 2.0 came online, created by the former administrators of Silk Road.  FBI closed it down & the alleged operator was arrested, under what is termed as  “Operation Onymous”.

In one of  judicial firsts, Ulbricht was convicted of eight charges by U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan.  He was sentenced to life & was not permitted for parole as per the judicial pronouncement. Lots of other efforts across the globe by law enforcement agencies ended in failure. This is the challenge of the Darknet market place.  Technical investigation able to withstand judicial scrutiny is the future to control the Darknet.  Currently, the conviction rate of cyber crimes is an abysmal 1%.


    Sanjay Sahay

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