Silk Road 2 Founder Dread Pirate Roberts 2 Caught, Jailed for 5 Years

jim bell jdb10987 at
Fri Apr 12 11:59:46 PDT 2019

 On Friday, April 12, 2019, 9:02:33 AM PDT, coderman <coderman at> wrote:
 >see you in five, Cthulhu!  :0
>(in the US this would have been a *much* longer sentence...)


>by Joseph Cox
>Apr 12 2019, 1:04pm

>Silk Road 2 Founder Dread Pirate Roberts 2 Caught, Jailed for 5 Years

>For years, the arrest and case has been kept under-wraps. Friday, a court sentenced Thomas White to 5 years and 4 months for his role in running a huge dark web drug marketplace.

>In 2015, WIRED published a list of the ‘dark web drug lords who got away.’ That list included the Dread Pirate Roberts 2 (DPR2), the creator of the second Silk Road site, which launched almost immediately after the FBI ended the first with the famous arrest of founder Ross Ulbricht.
[stuff trimmed]

Although it's stating the obvious, people use dark markets (among other reasons)  to reduce the risk of buying contraband.  Human contact leads to risk:  Any trust that exists can be betrayed.   One main reason contraband is so expensive is due to this risk.   As that risk is reduced, the necessary profits (necessary to motivate people to stay in an illegal marketplace) can be reduced.  And so prices are reduced, in part because of increased competition.  
I assume most physical transactions on the dark markets involve delivery by commercial services, such as US Mail, UPS, FedX, etc.  This isn't bad for occasional use, but the residual risk is now being addressed by Dropgang techniques.      But rather than depend on the limited number of physical nooks and crannies in existence in the urban and suburban world, using accurate GPS would allow drops to be made in millions of locatable spots  in areas of grass and dirt.     ×
Nevertheless, shortly after the first Silk Road Dark market fell in 2013, I pointed out that such dark markets should be protected by a limited-purpose AP-type organization.  ,  which would function as a catch-all deterrent mechanism even when all other protection systems fail to work.
I use the following example:   Imagine a generic  Dark Market doing $1 billion per year in sales.  If 1% of that value, or $10 million per year, were offered as a bounty against any law-enforcement people (judges, prosecutors, prosecution witnesses, etc.) involved in any legal case associated with it,  it would become a very unforgiving role to try to stop such activity.  For concreteness, I'd use the example of  $250K bounty for each judge or prosecutor, and probably smaller amounts for investigators and policemen.   Think of this as an 'insurance policy', quite probably a very effective one.  

This system would have a "virtuous circle" (as opposed to a "vicious circle"):  The fewer prosecutions which are attempted, the larger the amount of award which would remain available to further deter it.   And the payment of these awards does not increase the price of (example, illegal drugs) contraband, it will actually decrease it greatly.
Ask yourself:  If you were involved in a dark market, either as an operator, a seller, or a buyer, wouldn't you prefer that if you were eventually prosecuted, a $1-2 million collective lethal bounty was aimed at the heads of anyone involved in your prosecution?  
"Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy the FEAR to attack."     at 1:50.×
Five years after the first Silk Road was taken down, I think it's foolish for there to be a dark market that ISN'T protected by an AP system.
                             Jim Bell

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