The Feds are starting to identify and arrest Silk Road users

By on October 8, 2013, 3:30 PM
fbi, reddit, bitcoin, feds, law enforcement, silk road, drug market

Last week we learned that the FBI brought down the infamous online drug market called Silk Road, along with its alleged owner, Ross Ulbricht. The website was touted as a relatively safe way to conduct otherwise shady drug deals, especially since the market frequently referred to itself as “anonymous” and all transactions were conducted through the untraceable cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

However, following the takedown of Silk Road, it would appear as though the feds are starting to track down and target its users. Numerous arrests have already been made worldwide and it looks like more are to come. According to Gizmodo, a Washington man and his roommate have been charged with selling heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine through the online marketplace. Suspect Steven Sadler is believed to have used the name “NOD” on Silk Road, and is considered to be in the “top one percent of sellers”, distributing individual-use amounts to hundreds of buyers around the globe.

In addition to the US crackdown, numerous other arrests have been made worldwide. In the UK, four British suspects have been arrested by the National Crime Agency, a new organization that is the UK equivalent of the FBI. Another two men have been arrested in Sweden on charges related to the sale of marijuana. At this point in time, it’s not exactly understood how the feds have identified its users; although it’s highly possible that they gleaned information off of the Silk Road servers that were recently seized.

For law abiding citizens, most of this news will be of little concern. However, users of Silk Road are understandably worried. On Reddit, multiple threads have already started, asking for advice on whether or not they need to seek legal help. Other Redditors have claimed to have even been contacted by authorities about drug sales; however, these calls could simply be linked to a common scam.

Expect more arrests to come in the next few days and weeks. The feds will certainly be making an effort to strike down the major sellers and buyers, although it’s unlikely that small time users will ever be targeted.

Image via PCWorld




User Comments: 12

Got something to say? Post a comment
4 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

A line from the movie The Social network. "The internet is written in pen." It's becoming more and more true everyday. Anonymous online is an oxymoron.

Acespaces Acespaces said:

Don't know if should feel bad for the drug dealers or not.

1 person liked this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Don't know if should feel bad for the drug dealers or not.

Please don't, these naive twits deserve to get caught, try taking the leg work out of selling drugs, despicable. As far as the Internet is concerned to me, what is said cannot be unsaid, what is done cannot be undone and all purchases are 100% traceable. I'd say good luck to those who took part in this, but I really hope they're all caught and fine at minimum.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Buying drugs off the Internet is about as smart as eating dirt.

If you really want to purchase something illegal, there are cautious and sensible ways to do it while minimising the risk. The braggarts always come undone.

Frankly, it's even less risky to ask a high-school student to help you out than buy online where there will always be an electronic trail, within TOR or otherwise.

How dumb some people are constantly delights me.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

How dumb some people are constantly delights me.
You can say that again. Ohh wait, nevermind it still wouldn't make any sense.

Guest said:

..it was sarcasm, instead of just saying the obvious "I am constantly disappointed in (what I consider to be) people's increasing stupidity/selfishness/recklessness/thoughtlessness/younameit
ess".

spencer spencer said:

If anyone was a big time seller or buyer they should have installed tails os to make sure they were completely covered from the prying eyes of the feds like dread said. Small time ops were all I feel the site may have been useful for in some cases. Mcafees device sounds very appealing; I wonder if the feds will ban it.Although I wonder if the feds were in the dev team for tails and secretly inserted backdoor code in it like many other programs/plugins.

avoidz avoidz said:

And they really expected to go under the radar?

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Cherry Pi... lol

Pretty ironic "Winning the war on drugs" forum topic

Tygerstrike said:

See the silk road users bought into the hype. I have said for years that NOTHING is truly anon on the web. I know this from my own experiences pre-web. Back in the day when it was all shareware and BBs. Even then, you could be identified. Given that information, why would anyone think they were safe online??

I DO NOT feel sorry for the drug sellers. They took a risk, and in their business, that risk is going to cost them some jailtime. But they KNEW the risks when getting started. This should have been a common sense moment for them. If I sell something that is illegal,eventually I will be caught. I think that the users of silk road found that the internet was a great place to make sales in complete safety. Unfortunatly they were ONLY safe as long as the site was never found and cracked. They were safe from the ppl they were selling to, but not safe against their big brother.

The internet is a great idea in both practice and in theory. But its ppl like the guy who ran SR who are changing the NATURE of the web. It used to be just online shopping and pron. Now its evolved into the database that it was intended to be. Along with online shopping and pron.

We can connect with some of the farthest points on our globe with the web. I have online freinds from countries that I would have never had the chance to ever visit. Its a shame that it can be used in such a "evil" way. We as a whole, as a people and a species, need to learn and grow. But events such as the silk road go to show us that we have a long ways to go.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Well this is definitely going to help them out

Teens Posting Photos of Drugs From Silk Road

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well this is definitely going to help them out

Teens Posting Photos of Drugs From Silk Road

That reminds me of a story I heard on the Radio one time. Someone goes in for auto services (which required identification) and then robs the place. The local authority were waiting for them at home before they got there.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.