On 11/4/14 U.S authorities including the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with European law enforcement agencies announced that they have taken down Silk Road 2.0 [silkroad6ownowfk.onion], which is the successor website to the original Silk Road. Blake Benthall was the owner of Silk Road 2.0; he was arrested on 11/5/14 in San Francisco and the charges that were brought up against him carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. While I do not totally disagree with what law officials did here I do disagree with the actions that they took to accomplish their goal.
The notice that you get when you visit Silk Road 2.0 [silkroad6ownowfk.onion]
Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0
While I am against the illegal drugs that were sold on these websites, I was for all of the legal stuff that was sold and the purpose that they held. Silk Road, Silk Road 2.0, and any other anonymous marketplaces out there bring a great value to the modern world; that is freedom of choice, freedom to buy items online anonymously without interference from ‘Big Brother’ or anyone else. When people talk about Silk Road and marketplaces like it they automatically assume that it is going to be used for nefarious things and assume that you are going to be using it to purchase illegal drugs or items. While illegal drugs and items made up these marketplaces they could have also been used for other non-nefarious things like computer hardware such as USB flash drives. Last time I checked USB flash drives were not illegal!
The Importance of Anonymous Marketplaces
Just like anything we should all try to look at the positive side of things, in this case it would be freedom of choice. Imagine a world without these ‘anonymous marketplaces’ where the government can step in at any time and monitor and control all of the transactions that occur. This world would not be a very good one because there is no balance of power, no one to regulate what the government does or can do. When you deal with anonymous marketplaces you are usually dealing with a bunch independent buyers and sellers, so nothing is centralized and the use of cryptography is mandatory. This type of business environment is not good for everyone and for everything but it does come in handy for all of the people out there who want to buy something where they do not want to share their personal information with a specific company so they can distribute it out to marketers. There are people out there who are truly good people and want their privacy respected. Because of this I would have to say that these anonymous marketplaces are a necessary evil in today’s society and that law authorities should be spending their time trying to catch the people who are truly evil such as terrorists or child pornographers.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article! As always stay strong and keep the faith!