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The Almighty Buck The Internet Crime News

Online Narcotics Store 'Silk Road' Is Showing Cracks 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the until-the-internet-routes-around-the-cracks dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "It always sounded like a hoax, didn't it? Silk Road: an Internet website where you can buy any drug in the world? Yeah, right. But it's real. It was almost two years ago that we first heard about the site, which hosts everything from Adderall to Ketamine, LSD to MDMA and tons and tons of weed. After it started to pick up a ton of press and exposure, we all thought that certainly the Silk Road would get shut down. It's super illegal to sell drugs or even to help people sell drugs. But it didn't. Silk Road survives to this day. However, with the arrival this week of the first conviction of a Silk Road-related crime, you have to wonder if Silk Road's days might be numbered after all. The trouble is brewing in Australia, where a guy named Paul Leslie Howard is facing as many as five years in prison for selling drugs on Silk Road. We're not talking millions of dollars worth of drugs, but we are talking about thousands of dollars worth. And just as Silk Road natives had feared, Howard was one of those Silk Road n00bs who read a newspaper article about the site and decided to try it out for himself."
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Online Narcotics Store 'Silk Road' Is Showing Cracks

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  • In the Netherlands (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2013 @04:31PM (#42764923)

    Cops are watching as soft drugs are sold in coffee shops. They just want you to be safe, that's all. That's why guns are outlawed, firearms are a safety hazard.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday February 01, 2013 @04:36PM (#42765005)
    Craiglist is used for mostly legal things, the silk road exists only to serve an "illegal" purpose, which is selling drugs. I'm not all that familiar with how they stay anonymous, but if there's a way to unravel that system, it would come through cases like this most likely. I think this guy got busted for selling drugs outside the silk road, as per the article, and was overall a stupid drug dealer. A quote about human stupidity and why we can't have nice things (for a user the Silk Road is heaven.. till they OD) is in order I suppose.
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday February 01, 2013 @04:37PM (#42765029)
    1. "Showing cracks" doesn't mean "doomed."

    2. It's not too hard to come up with a scenario where a lot of silk road's buisiness is scared off by a few criminal charges like this. Craigslist was no doubt concerned that a few people getting murdered would cause customers to bolt out of irrational fear.

    3. This is the first time evidently someone has gotten arrested for it. It probably won't be the last. I'm not familiar with how silk road works. I'm guessing there are barriers to try to prevent law enforcement or other criminals from using it to find out when and where drug transactions are going to be happening. I'm also guessing those barriers are not foolproof.
  • by icebike (68054) on Friday February 01, 2013 @05:14PM (#42765429)

    3. This is the first time evidently someone has gotten arrested for it. It probably won't be the last. I'm not familiar with how silk road works. I'm guessing there are barriers to try to prevent law enforcement or other criminals from using it to find out when and where drug transactions are going to be happening. I'm also guessing those barriers are not foolproof.

    Chances are Silk Road is crawling with cops. But they are not focused on catching buyers or occasional sellers, but are more focused on catching the bigger distributors. Probably they don't even cite Silk as their principal source when prosecuting. Hard to prove much of anything on the internet to a jury, easier to trot in some Joe Undercover cop and have him explain a (probably at least half truthful) account of how he came to know about those deals, without mentioning that first info came via silk.

    One off buys are not worth chasing.

  • As a small business owner, I haven't always been able to afford insurance for myself. In Mexico I can go to the pharmacy and just buy the medicine I need, no expensive doctor trip required. Sure a retard could OD on something or mix the wrong things, but they could just as easily step in front of a buss too.

    There's a problem with over prescribing antibiotics, I concede that. However, ask anyone who's worked in many doctor offices. The Drug Sales Rep shows up, drops off samples, sings the praises of the new wonder drug, and the Doc invariably increases prescriptions of the damn drug, so it's not like this shit is an exact science folks, otherwise marketing like that would have no effect on prescriptions. All I'm saying is that I should be able to get my meds refilled without visiting a doctor if I don't care to (or have the money to).

  • by juliannoble (1154079) on Friday February 01, 2013 @07:34PM (#42766947)
    Technology will eventually solve the pickup problem too. e.g For same-city deals - mid-air quadrocopter-drone handover - complete with decoy drones and last-minute randomized meeting coordinates. City airspace will be abuzz with these things one day!
  • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Friday February 01, 2013 @11:01PM (#42768513)

    While I have never used any illegal substance, I strongly object to lumping the silk road with the worst of society. (That is, if you're doing so; if not, I apologize.) If somebody wants to get high, that's their own business. The government doesn't own them, and therefore doesn't have the right to control their consumption.

    I'm tired of this government that sees fit to ban buckyballs, trans fats, msg, sugary soda's, drugs, and soon to be firearms. All in the name of safety. I remember during the Bush years, dissent was called patriotic, people were making a huge stink about even one single civilian death overseas, code pink was always in the news, and people were shouting endlessly for the closing of GTMO. The frequently mis-attributed to Ben Franklin mis-quote about liberty and safety was used daily.

    Yet just recently, the New York Times is demanding that the administration lay down the law. People on slashdot even tell me that I don't need soda. Hollywood unions now have more power than ever to restrict internet communication. Obama just dismantled the office he set up to close GTMO.

    Seriously, what the hell? When they came for the buckyballs, we said nothing.

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