Do You Know Ross William Ulbricht?

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He founded Silk Road.

I think it’s best to explain a couple of things before I proceed. The reason I’m writing about Ross Ulbricht is because I want people to understand why I keep saying that they (we) know nothing. I’ve recently read a two-part article/story on The Wired about him, which I believe is one of the most wonderfully written piece of article I’ve read for a long time (link below). After reading this, you’ll probably be confused, which is my goal so that you go and seek for answers.

Chances are you don’t know about the “deep web”. It’s probably better that way. Please do not Google it. If you do and you get in trouble, I have nothing to do with it. The “deep web” aka deepnet or hidden web is the part of the internet or the worldwide web (WWW) that is not indexed by standard search engines (ie. Google). Basically, what you can view in the search results of Google is just the surface of the web. The Silk Road was an online black market that was primarily used for selling illegal drugs that launched in 2011. Users (both buyers and sellers) can access the market securely and anonymously, no traffic monitoring. It was big. It was eventually shut down by FBI in 2013. Last February, Ulbricht was convicted in relation to Silk Road. Now, what’s interesting in all of these? Let me list some down:

Who fucking cares? The people who use Silk Road, Bitcoin owners and the FBI and U.S. Government. I think that’s about it. What am I talking about? Mostly things in the internet that you probably haven’t heard of.

So there exist something of this magnitude that’s beyond one’s international borders and most people have no idea about it. It was impressive how the U.S. were able to track Ulbricht down. But what stops other people in setting up their own market like the Silk Road? What prevents this from happening again? And this is probably just 1% of the deepweb. There are all sorts of other things in there. And most people have zero idea about.

It’s easy to assume we know a lot but in reality, we don’t. And there’s no way we can. What I’m saying is, it’s okay.

If you find this interesting then you’ll probably like CSI: Cyber. Never mind the bad acting and some stupid technical mistakes,  it is actually educational.

Other interesting finds:
The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 1
The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 2
Sell Out by Simon Rich

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