FBI: Shutting Down Silk Road 2 Was Just The Start

Illustration for article titled FBI: Shutting Down Silk Road 2 Was Just The Start

Earlier today, we learned that The Silk Road 2.0 has a new, fed-shaped landing page; but the FBI isn't just stopping at hitting one illegal online drug market: it looks like it's taking down everything it can get its hands on.

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Other popular drug markets have also been targeted, with Cloud9, Hydra, and the Cannabis Road forum seized so far. That might not be the end of it, either: according to Wired, the FBI has seized "more than three" markets, and will be revealing its full collection of scalps on Friday morning.

It's unclear at this stage exactly how the FBI managed to seize so many marketplaces simultaneously: whilst Silk Road 2.0 seems to have been taken down by a combination of undercover agents and basic mistakes by the administrators, it's not clear yet how Cloud9 and Hydra (and any other markets that mysteriously vanish overnight) have been seized. Someone posting as Cloud9's admin on Reddit's Dark Net Markets subreddit says that just one Cloud9 server was seized (and, presumably, not them with it), so it doesn't seem that the feds have uncovered some underlying weakness in TOR or Bitcoin, which are the only technologies that link the various sites.

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Either way, this coordinated takedown of several popular sites at once is fairly clear proof that the FBI (and its international partners) is slowly but surely winning the war against underground online drug markets. Silk Road and the like all rely (to an extent) on mutual trust and reputation, plus a perceived low level of risk. If the FBI is consistently taking sites offline before they've had a while to flourish, it will be much harder for buyers and sellers to trust each other — not to mention the obvious dangers of getting locked up. [Reddit, Wired, FBI]

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DISCUSSION

The problem isn't these underground sellers markets, it's the government which is supposed to be by and for the people but is in fact a corrupt entity which is by and for itself and the corporations. Big pharmacy doesn't like marijuana and other drugs and they've never stopped coming into the country and they've never stopped being used. All that's been achieved is incarceration of people who otherwise could be paying taxes and working. Instead there's an entire ecosystem of corrupt people making a buck off keeping otherwise innocent people in jail for doing nothing except pursuing happiness, a freedom protected by the constitution and which our young people should be fighting to get back by demanding we change our government as is our right under the constitution. Many states are voting marijuana legal again and had the greed of rockefeller not made it illegal in the first place so that he could single handedly change the paper industry from hemp to wood pulp in order to profit from the vast tracts of woodlands he purchased we would be enjoying marijuana today. I'd rather pay taxes on a carton of pre rolled joints than buy a liter of vodka, or pay a tax and grow my own.