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Into the Deep Web: The Silk Road Marketplace

Hello again,

Last week we took at look at the basics of the Deep Web, how it worked and how you can get access. But other than hiding your radical book club from the all-seeing eye of Google and Bing, what is the point of creating a Deep Web website, it won’t generate a lot of traffic since nobody can find it.

Obviously, the Deep Web is a ‘room of requirement’ for nefarious activities such as the selling of drugs, medicine, weapons and illegal services. On these marketplaces, of which there are numerous, you can anonymously buy illegal substances, computer viruses, perhaps enlist the services of a hacker or hitman.
The (formerly) biggest and most well-know marketplace was called “The Silk Road”, set up by a young man who let himself be known as ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’. In October this year a man by the name of Ross William Ulbricht was arrested, presumed being the person behind the alias, and brought up on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic narcotics, and procuring murder.

His trial starts this month, a good time to take a look at Mr. Ulbricht and his legacy: The Rise and Fall of The Silk Road.

An Infographic showing the legacy of The Silk Road

An Infographic showing the legacy of The Silk Road

As for now, The Silk Road remains closed. But new marketplaces keep popping up: OpenBazaar, Tom’sMarket, Silk Road 2.0, and old ones still remain.
However, none of them have the notoriety or the user-base of the original The Silk Road, perhaps this is the start of the final crackdown on the Deep Web Marketplaces that the FBI and DHS started so long ago. Mr. Ulbrichts trial will be of great importance in this fight, and I will be following it with interest.

Until next time,

About Coen Berkhout

Coen is a fourth year International Relations student. Focusing on Technology, Philosophy and Politics, he tries to bring you interesting articles that challenge your view of the world and hopefully make you look towards the future. In his personal life his greatest joy is playing Lacrosse for the Groningen Gladiators

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