If you’ve followed the story of the tor accessible marketplace Silk Road, you’ll know all about its closure last year and the arrest of the alleged owner, Ross Ulbricht. However it didn’t take long after that initial shut down for other sites to take its place, one of them being Silk Road 2. It sailed back into the limelight with the same theme as before and even an owner/admin that used the same moniker: Dread Pirate Roberts. That persona disappeared a few weeks ago amid claims that their security had been compromised, but now they’re back – at least in interview form – talking with Ars about the site and the morality behind making all sorts of drugs available to anyone that can figure out PGP, bitcoins and anonymous browsing.
While drugs are certainly the main focus of the site, it does sell other things, but DPR2 believes it’s more than just a marketplace for substances: “We represent a right for the individual to choose what they would or wouldn’t like to put into their own bodies,” they said, continuing by highlighting reasons why the current drug law system just doesn’t work.
“Did prohibition at all stop people drinking? No. Did prohibition stop people seeking help? Yes, and many people paid with their lives for it. Does prohibition take otherwise productive citizens who’ve done no harm to others out of society and let them sit in a jail cell to drain resources? I’ll let you consider that.”
They even take the opportunity to take a swing at the US government for more than its drugs laws: its terrorism scaremongering: “After 9/11, there was a vast amount of scaremongering over terrorism, and the higher echelons of society saw fit to strip the rights of everyone in the process [… and] yet we can see such hypocrisy from the US government where everyone must surrender their rights for the actions of a few.”
According to DPR2, tracking down the new Silk Road’s servers wouldn’t actually be that difficult for organisations like the FBI and NSA, but unlike Ross Ulbricht, DPR2 has safeguards in place that should mean even if he/she is arrested, the site will continue on as before.
“There is only one person in the world that knows who [my second in command] “Defcon” is — me. So unless the feds have me they can never take down the Road, because as soon as I am missing he knows to just move servers and hit the killswitch on my access.”
Are the police already trying to entrap people on the site? Yes they are, but DPR2 has been squashing them wherever possible, claiming to have taken down over 15 different honeypot accounts – though apparently the authorities keep using the same “SuperTrips” moniker for some reason.
In closing, the Silkroad admin simply said: “I have brought Silk Road back to life this time around, but the future of free markets is in the hands of those who are willing to step up after Silk Road falls. There is a revolution coming that is larger than Silk Road has been or will ever be.”
KitGuru Says: The rest of the interview is a very interesting read. Check out the full thing for a lot more insights into the road and its owner’s philosophy.