Sunday, February 2, 2014

How the Ross Ulbricht Arrest Went Down

The February issue of Rolling Stone magazine has a story about the government shutdown of the online drug market, Silk Road. The article also profiles the alleged operator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht. This is how RS describes the arrest of Ulbricht going down (Note: Article not yet online)
On October 1st, 2013, inside the science-fiction section of the Glen Park library in San Francisco, one of the Internet's most-wanted men sat typing quietly on his laptop[...]None of the geeks milling around the stacks that day, nor even those closest to Ross Ulbricht, suspected that the slight, pale, 29-year-old was, according to prosecutors, the notorious hacker known as Dread Pirate Roberts[...]But at 3:15 p.m. the quiet was broken when, out of nowhere, a young woman in street clothes charged toward Ulbricht yelling, "I'm so sick of you!" and grabbed his laptop. Ulbricht leapt from his seat to grab it back, when the half-dozen other readers at nearby tables suddenly lunged at him, pushing him against a window. Hearing the commotion, the librarian rushed over to assist Ulbricht. "Go back to your desk," the woman who had started it all told her. "We're making an arrest."

Stripping off their civilian shirts to reveal FBI vests, the agents told Ulbricht to turn around. He had no expression when they cuffed him. As they led him toward the door, the female agent turned to the mystified onlookers and said, "Surprise!"
Note: The reason the female FBI agent grabbed the laptop first was because the FBI feared that Ulbricht had a program on the laptop which would lock the computer down if he closed the laptop. They feared that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to get inside the computer if he was successful in physically closing it.

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