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back to article 4 Brits cuffed after shutdown of internet drug shop Silk Road

British cops have nabbed four men in connection with the shutdown of the Silk Road internet drug shop. They said they expect to arrest more in the coming weeks as they tighten the net on the dark web's illicit marketplaces. Police from Blighty's newly launched National Crime Agency said they had worked with US law enforcement to …

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

They can take my drugs...

But they'll never take my freedo... oh...

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Silver badge

Re: They can take my drugs...

Now our all powerful overlords in the UK Gov have bloody good excuse to start trying to have TOR shut down 'cos of all this Silk Road malarky making it into the Daily Fail and upsetting the Middle England crowd!

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Anonymous Coward

Hands on the private key

Well, he could always give it to me. I'm very "responsible" with money.

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Silver badge

What to do with all those bitcoins?

Liquidate them - dump 600,000 on the market and watch the price crash just for a chuckle? Break the 'currency' and it'll fuck up all the other illegal trading and dealing, temporarily at least...and may just be enough to damage confidence in it enough to kill it.

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Bronze badge

Re: temporarily at least....

Yes dumping them would lead to a loss of confidence, (i.e. increase the supply). However as it's a limited resource,in certain respects, (well until the math is broken), it will just climb back up. It's not like you can just print more of it like.

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Silver badge

Re: What to do with all those bitcoins?

>to damage confidence in it enough to kill it.

I assume you are talking about the digital currency. Obviously the demand side for illegal substances will always remain strong. Going after the current way they buy it much like going after supply is largely a fool's errand in the end (just jacks price up which requires robbing more houses or switching to another substance). The only people that think we are winning the war on drugs or should even keep fighting it the way we have for decades are generally the ones making money off it continuing.

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WTF?

Re: What to do with all those bitcoins?

Oh come on. We ALL know how to stop BitCoins becoming productive or useful ... just put Gordon Brown in charge of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh

If they have to try to additionally justify taking down sites like this, by mentioning that fraudsters, gun traders, and (of course) pedophiles are also using them... it seems to be an admission that perhaps the general public is struggling to care about why letting people who want to smoke weed do so is such a big deal, anyway.

Prohibition doesn't work. It causes vastly more harm than good. It's illiberal and illogical. For the love of god, can we -please- get a government in that will examine the issue sensibly, and come up with policy based on rationalism rather than politicians fears of being punished by speaking the truth.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Assuming you are in the UK if you want a Government to Rationally examine the issue you will need to convince lots of people to vote for the Lib Dems... Good Luck with that!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Not a chance I'd vote or encourage anyone else to support those weak supine cowards, who'd jettison any 'ideal' they claimed to have in order to grasp their grubby little claws around some illusory power. Green party all the way!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

I'm just slightly interested in how you think that shutting down Silk Road or similar sites is going to stop people from enjoying a toke in the privacy of their own home?

I cant imagine any normal "user" was on board Silk Road just to buy an ounce. I'm pretty certain it was only larger dealers involved...

Still I hope this encourages people to buy locally... :P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Sadly I have to agree. And I despise the Greens energy policy with a vengeance.

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Happy

Re: AC Re: Sigh

"....Green party all the way!" You forgot the sarc tags, chap.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

What about their science or medical policies (pro homeopathy supplied by the nhs) both completely mental.

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Re: Sigh

I am not sure drugs should be legal if pedofiles are using them to catch children

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

So you will vote for the loonies who want petrol to cost £100 per litre

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Why haven't the shut down the rail network? I hear fraudsters, gun traders, and (of course) pedophiles are also using them. Same with royal mail.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Considering that buying a gram of weed was about £9 with free postage, which is cheaper than a "ten bag" I would imagine that there are a lot of normal users on there buying a little percy for themselves. Buying large quantities is much more risky than buying a small amount, if the postie finds a small amount they are likely to send you a "we opened your post you naughty boy" letter, if they open a package containing an oz or more you are likely to get a visit from plod.

If you want a large amount go see your local shady character, small amounts/hard to obtain substances make more sense to get through online dealers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sigh

Well currently we have a government which ignores advice from it's own experts about drugs, which replaced a government which ignore it's own experts advice about drugs. Before that we had - wait for it - a government which ignored it's own experts advice about drugs.

How about energy ? I really can't see that any of the big 3 parties policies are less crap than the Greens.

I'm 47. I'm sick of the Lab-Con-sometimes-LibDem (or LibLab) hegemony which has poisoned society. The only way we will ever get any real change is to never vote for them again. I think they are starting to realise this, slowly. My ideal next government would be a loose coalition, based on individual policies.

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Re: Sigh

Not only did the government ignore the advice of the advisory panel on drugs, when its chairman made the (apparently) reasonable comparison of risk between taking ecstasy and riding horses (the horse riding was said to be riskier) they sacked him. Not for being right or wrong, but for saying it at all.

Smart.

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Re: Sigh

you dont have to buy ounces, ordinary people used silk road to avoid meeting drug dealers, its user review system ensured that only high purity drugs were sold. in shutting it down the government have just removed the element of quality control, people will buy drugs regardless.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: AC Re: Sigh

"Why haven't they shut down....rail...mail...." Because those organisations do not exist to facilitate crimes, and should their services be used for crimes they co-operate with the police to stop or prevent said criminals. Sorry, if you can't see the difference I don't have any crayons to draw you a diagram to explain it.

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Thumb Up

Nice one ...

I can't see any redeeming features for Silk Road, the anonymous Internet marketplace.

The world will be a better place without it being available.

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Re: Nice one ...

"I can't see any redeeming features for Silk Road, the anonymous Internet marketplace"

Connecting people who want to buy something with people who have that something for sale?

"The world will be a better place without it being available."

The Silk Road isn't available and there has been no discernible change in the 'betterness' of the world.

So you're wrong on both counts.

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Silver badge

Re: Nice one ...

I can't see one either, except as a convenient place to round up those who can't be bothered to do illegal things the 'right' way. There's a reason it is mostly thugs and idiots who get caught buying and selling drugs. It isn't that doctors, lawyers, politicians and executives don't do drugs, it's that they're discreet and careful about it.

Ordering up your stuff online is just dumb and full of security risks. You can only partially manage ~50% of the transaction and you're terribly exposed. If you want to do drugs that doesn't bother me, but don't be lazy and stupid about it. Lazy and stupid are undesirable character traits in any person in any activity.

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@Don

You really should learn how silk Road worked before spouting of that way. The only thing the dealer knew about the buyer was the address where the buyer wanted the product delivered.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Don

"You really should learn how anything works before spouting of that way."

That's not Don Jefe's way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Don

Here's my personal address Mr drug seller, please dont tell your friends where I live or that i'm a blackmail target.

I notice you have 100% feedback and I judge you are a very nice person based on this, the fact you sell illegal substances is just a minor thing really.

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Britain's FBI

It's a huge coincidence that this happened a day after seemingly the eighth incarnation of 'Britain's FBI' was brought into being. It's not like they wanted any big flashy stories about how hard they are or anything like that.

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ah great now I will have to go back to using tesco direct

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Flame

He should have converted his $80m to cash...

...then buried it in barrels in the desert. Nothing could have gone wrong with that plan.

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Anonymous Coward

With 600,000 Bitcoins

They could... oh wait, yeh they just shut it down.

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Silver badge

What's this new concept?

"Police forces around the world are also targeting people they suspect of dealing drugs on the Silk Road. In Seattle, the Feds placed tracking devices on suspects' cars and claim to have watched a dealer and his female accomplice drop off drugs packages at post offices around the city."

We could call it - dunno, "policing"? Obviously it does have disadvantages compared with just sitting on your lardy arse and hoovering up the entire population's private communications, but you never know, something this crazy might just work...

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Boffin

Can't some boffin adapt them 3D printers to like, print drugs?

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Silver badge

don't by HP

Can you image what they'd charge for supplies?

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Anonymous Coward

What fools

They is gonna pay for their stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

Government agencies releasing stories to justify their surveillance programs are being used for good?

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Anonymous Coward

Quite the opposite.

The NSA et al have been banging on about the threat from Tor for years, how it'll take billions of dollars and the utter circumvention of any and all security or privacy in the world to break, etc.

Then the real police turned up and shut the website by doing actual detective work.

We should really shut the NSA. They're clearly just another incompetent borderline-terrorist agency that costs us a lot of money. The police are at least going after- and catching- crimes.

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Anonymous Coward

Buying drugs online

So no more online liquor sales then...hic!

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Anonymous Coward

"Stopping this element of serious and organised crime will go a long way to protecting the public.”

Yes, forcing otherwise law abiding, hard working people to go back to dodgy back alley dealings with shady violent criminals, as opposed to being able to order from a website, will really "protect" them.

The flaw with prohibition is that it only combats the supply, not the demand. The reason the drugs market is worth so much money is that people *want* to take them, and are willing to pay handsomely to do so, and no clampdown is going to change that. Weed or pills might not be your thing, but horses for courses. Personally, I despise whisky - It makes me violent, makes me vomit, and alcoholism has torn my family apart. Alcohol killed 8,478 people in the UK in 2011, according to the governments own figures. Cannabis killed NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON. I fail to see how spending millions to ensure that the only recreational substance I can access is one that causes violence, addiction, and is deadly, is "keeping me safe"?

The FBI's own indictment against the guy who ran the site even says that they made hundreds of purchases, had them analysed, and confirmed that the purity of Silk Road products was far higher than "street" drugs. In the *actual*, *real* world, almost (note, I said almost, not every) people who die from "drugs" actually die from the crap that dealers cut them with, not the products themselves. Don't believe me? Try reading the actual autopsy reports of high profile cases, not just the Daily Fail. I have yet to find ONE case of an "ecstasy" death that was caused by MDMA (the pure chemical) - Its inevitably due to it being some known dangerous substance like PMA being passed off as E, yet that never makes it onto the front page.

Plus, the number of media outlets claiming there was child porn and guns on the site, when in actual fact the community were vehemently opposed to those. Yes, they're on the darknet, but they sure as hell weren't on Silk Road. But hey,lets make sure Middle England stays on message and doesn't waver by trying to associate personal choice with kiddy fiddling. Won't somebody think of the children?

In the 21st Century, politicians have become the new catholic church, and the drugs laws are the new Spanish Inquisition. The Silk Road merely had the temerity to prove that the earth actually revolves around the sun, and for this heresy, its founder, Ross Ulbrich is now going to be treated like a modern day Galileo.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 8:31

if I could upvote you more than once I would.

There is also a stench of hypocrisy around prohibition anyway. Just this week the UK decided to ban 10packs of cigarettes "to think of the children". If cigarettes are that bad, why not just ban them ? Expect the government has admitted that banning things doesn't work. And then in same breath says than banning drugs works.

Welcome to government. Where you do have to be mad to work here.

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Anonymous Coward

Amen AC... with more people like you spreading the message, we may yet win the war for legalisation. I still feel utter rage when 'purity' is used by the government and media in a perjorative sense. Being pure is a good thing... why would anything think otherwise??

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FAIL

Re: AC

"....'purity'...." No doubt you're all for muggers getting a reduced sentence if they stab you with a clean knife? How about thieves that wipe their feet when they break into your house? Or maybe pimps that only slap their girls rather than using a clenched fist? Oh, in spreading the message, I suppose no-one told you that plenty of users get their drug money from crime, and that legalizing drugs would not change that one iota. Stats from the US show that a user of illegal drugs (including weed) is sixteen times more likely to be arrested for theft, fourteen times more likely to be arrested for driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol or both, and nine times more likely to be arrested for assault. Legalizing it will do nothing to curb their likelihood of committing any of those offenses as legalization will not turn the average junkie into a model citizen just because he can buy his hit over the counter.

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PR Exercise

I suspect that in addition to giving them media coverage in combatting the Internet, see also the anti-Guardian comments by MI6, other reason is that the site and its users was easy to trace and apprehend. Much safer than going out onto the streets and confronting dealers in person. IMHO, if these drugs are such a problem why not just get flatten the fields of the South American & Asian countries where is grown. That should gave been one of the objectives of that war but a s*** load of money and lives was expended and bugger all happened....

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