Friday, November 7, 2014

Not Just Silk Road 2.0: Feds Seize Two Other Drug Markets

WIRED reports:
A full-blown dark web drug crackdown is in the works, and it’s not stopping with the Silk Road.

On Thursday the FBI along with other law enforcement agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and Europol announced that it had seized the Silk Road 2, perhaps the most well-known drug market to appear on the Dark Web since the takedown of the original Silk Road last year. What it didn’t announce is that at least two other drug market sites have also been busted, and more takedowns are likely coming. The drug markets Hydra and Cloud 9 now both display the same “This Hidden Site Has Been Seized” notices as the Silk Road 2, emblazoned with the logos of the FBI and Europol. Several other popular dark net markets were down Thursday morning, as well, though they didn’t display that banner. An FBI spokesperson tells WIRED that there will be more than three market seizures in total, with the full extent of the operation set to be revealed by Friday.
I have no direct source but I suspect that the crackdown will go well beyond the shutdown of web sites and that the next development will be the crackdown on certain individuals who  used these sights and conducted certain other activities using Bitcoin.

Just last month I wrote:
 I expect a major new round of U.S. government arrests of people involved with Bitcoin. The arrests may, or may not, be justified from a libertarian perspective, but the lesson learned is that not only is Bitcoin a dangerous investment but using Bitcoin will not protect you from federal investigations and prosecutions.
The promotion of Bitcoin by members of the libertarian community as the libertarian solution to government money was a tragic error.

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