Road Most Travelled

Autumn 2017

It has been four years since the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the infamous Silk Road. Advanced students in Liberal Studies at Regent’s University London share their thoughts on the founder’s declaration about his motivation in setting up the website, what may have contributed to the success of this illegitimate activity on the dark web, its impact, and any lessons learnt from it.

November 2017

The Road Most Travelled

Nadine Alduwaik

When someone mentioned Silk Road to me, my mind immediately went to the trade route that connected Asia to Europe, where buyers and sellers from different parts of the world
would converge together to sell goods and services. Similarly, the online version of the Silk Road was a way to connect users internationally.

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The Silk Road – four years on

October 2017, London

The Silk Road – four years on

Selen Ozcan

San Francisco October 2013: Ross William Ulbricht, a 29-year old man from California, is arrested by the FBI in a place you would least expect, the San Francisco Public Library, accused of being the mastermind behind The Silk Road.

The Silk Road, known as the first modern dark net market, used to be an online platform with a similar set up to Amazon and EBay, selling everything from illegal drugs to forged documents, stolen credit cards and unregulated cigarettes. Set up in 2011, in two years’ time the Silk Road became the most popular stop on the dark web for heroin, methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, LSD and marijuana. With so many people accessing the Silk Road, I believe it was inevitable for the Dread Pirate Roberts to be found and arrested. Silk Road was not the first online platform to make drugs so accessible to everyone, and it certainly is not going to be the last as dozens of similar websites open every day on the dark web.

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