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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