Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Safety and anonymity" in the design of the Silk Road drug market

Even illegal markets depend for their success on appropriate design. (And law enforcement may depend on disrupting it...) Bloomberg quotes some testimony from the trial of the alleged (and now convicted) “Dread Pirate Roberts” said to have run the black market site.

Silk Road Heroin Dealer Tells ‘Dread Pirate’ Jury of His Success

"(Bloomberg) -- A New York man who faces drug charges that could put him in prison for as long as 40 years told jurors in the trial of the alleged mastermind of the Silk Road online marketplace that the “safety and anonymity” of the website helped turn him from an addict into a successful heroin dealer."

The evidence was apparently overwhelming, and the conviction came quickly, see this account in The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/02/silk-road-trial

"TIME is up for the Dread Pirate Roberts. Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old Texan physics graduate accused of setting up the first major drugs marketplace on the web, the Silk Road, has been found guilty of all seven drugs-trafficking charges in a Manhattan court room today. And so comes to a close one of the first great criminal cases in this new era of internet-enabled crime."

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