Silk Road online drug marketplace resurfaces

The new website comes about a month after the original Silk Road was shut down by the FBI

Landing page of new Silk Road website

Landing page of new Silk Road website

The Silk Road online marketplace has resurfaced about a month after U.S. officials shut down the website that was only accessible through the Tor anonymity service, and arrested among others a man named Ross William Ulbricht, who was alleged to be the site's owner and operator.

The site has been relaunched by a person styling himself as Dread Pirate Roberts, a handle linked to Ulbricht by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Before its closure, the Silk Road was associated with the illegal sale and distribution of drugs and other illegal items including fake passports, the FBI said in a complaint in September.

"It is with great joy that I announce the next chapter of our journey. Silk Road has risen from the ashes......" Dread Pirate Roberts wrote in a note on the new website which could be accessed through the Tor service.

Dread Pirate Roberts cautioned that the site was still in early phases of development and lacked some of the features of its predecessor. Security appears to be the focus of the website. It promises to encourage and reward users who report both theoretical and even proven exploits.

The website also warned of possible delays with account withdrawals and deposits initially, because of an expected surge at opening of deposits of the virtual bitcoin currency. Law enforcement agencies suspect bitcoin is being used for money laundering and other illegal activities as it allows users to remain secret.

"These delays should become less as the marketplace settles, but at least for the earlier stages, please do not report coins as missing unless 12 hours or more have elapsed," the website said. In the event of Silk Road's demise once more, no members will lose their coins, as a result of new emergency strategies in place, it added.

Ulbricht appeared in a federal court in New York on Wednesday and his lawyer said officials arrested the wrong man, according to reports.

The new website shows that government policy needs to adapt to the "inescapable reality that technology is dynamic and ever-evolving," said Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware in a statement on Wednesday. "Rather than play 'whack-a-mole' with the latest website,  currency, or other method criminals are using in an effort to evade the law, we need to develop thoughtful, nimble and sensible federal policies that protect the public without stifling innovation and economic growth," said Carper who since April is leading an inquiry into virtual currencies.

Dread Pirate Roberts claimed in a Twitter message earlier on Wednesday that 7,000 people had registered so far and there was no sign of slowing down. "7,000 more voices who add to the call of freedom," the person added. The opening page of the website scratches the "been seized" from an image of a legal take down notice, and stamps it with "This site has risen again."

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags U.S. Federal Bureau of InvestigationCriminalsecuritylegalmalwarecybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?