The downfall of Silk Road, and with it, the so-called Dark Net

From Adrian Chen's Gawker long-read about that recent bust of the web's biggest online illegal drug marketplace:
The lesson of the Silk Road takedown isn't that Ulbricht was sloppy about security. It's that the idea of a world famous, anonymous illegal market is fatally contradictory. Ullbricht made some technical mistakes, but his biggest one was conceptual: buying his own hype that high-tech tricks would let him implement a radical free market fundamentalism that could never work politically.
Read the whole piece. Related: Chen's profile of Ross William Ulbricht.

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  1. There is also something calle TOR hidden services. These services are only accessible within TOR - your traffic enters the TOR network, but does not go back out through an exit node. The hidden service also establishes some connections into the TOR network, and publishes its services on TOR rendezvous points - so, your traffic traverses several TOR hops to get to the rendezvous point, and several more to get from the rendezvous point to the hidden ultimate endpoint that offers the service.

    Silk Road ran on such a hidden service.

  2. that we know of.

  3. The darknet has fallen. Long live the darknet.

  4. zikzak says:

    The author of this article misunderstands the technical situation in ways that make me question the rest of their analysis.

    At first I was concerned, because I worried that darknet FUD will discourage people from participating in outlaw networks. But then I realized that darknet FUD is inevitable, has existed, and will continue to exist. Because the darknet has always been politically impossible, it will never be acceptable or even tolerated. Its existence is fundamentally an act of war against authority. So the darknet lives and dies on the technical reality. And the technical reality is still unshaken, so who cares what Gawker writes?

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