It took the FBI and the Department of Justice two and a half years to shut down the Deep Web drug market known as the Silk Road and while they might have arrested the alleged mastermind and several vendors and users, the spirit of the service seemingly can’t be taken away.
A reborn Silk Road came online early Wednesday morning with the promise of being bigger and better than the original. According to All Things Vice, administrators first worked on rebuilding the community. To curb trolls and spammers, an invite-only system was implemented where users could only join the forum via an invite from an existing member.
The new Silk Road already has more than 600 listings and features improved security features like the use of PGP encryption keys. There’s even a new login page complete with a parody of the FBI / DOJ shutdown notice. Otherwise the site is said to be pretty much an exact copy of the previous offering with many of the same vendors returning to do business over the Internet once again.
Given the shutdown of the original site and several others like it over the past couple of months, one would be wise to proceed with caution. Is the new service legit or is it little more than a honeypot set up by the FBI to nab more users? Moreover, the new Silk Road could just as easily be a clever scam designed to milk Bitcoins from wishful customers. What says you?