THE INCARCERATION OF Ross Ulbricht started spreading wave of arrests of suspected  Deep Web dealers.

On Oct. 8, the same year, police in Sweden arrested two men on charges of selling pot through Silk Road, and four men were picked up in the U.K the same day on drug charges.

"These arrests send a clear message to criminals," said Keith Bristow, head of Britain's National Crime Agency.
"The hidden Internet isn't  hidden, and your anonymous activity  isn't anonymous. We know where you are, what you are doing, and we will catch you." 

It's not completely clear that that's true. One of the documents leaked by Snowden was an NSA presentation dated June, 2012 titled : ''Tor Stinks.''

It described the difficulties the NSA has been having cracking Tor, and it said definitively,  ''we will never be able to de-anonymyize  all Tor users all the time.''

The  Deep Web  template that Ulbrichit created remains technically sound. As one former  Silk Road user puts it, ''The dust has settled and everyone is kind of like 'Oh, well, time to order some more drugs.'

'We all knew it was coming.' There are forum posts discussing the possibility of a reconstituted Silk Road, based on a back-up version of the old site but with added security.

**''This will be where the action is once it's up and running,''** says the user. 

TOR itself is left in the curious position of being funded by some parts of the government {including the State Department and the Department of Defense} while others- [The FBI and the NSA] are trying to crack it.

But even the law enforcement  officials directly involved with the case hasten to clarify that they don't blame the technology itself for  Silk Road." There's nothing inherently  wrong with  anonymity on the Internet," U.S. Attorney Bharara says.

"There's nothing inherently wrong with certain kinds of currency, like Bitcoins, just like there's nothing wrong inherently wrong with cash. Bit it happens to be the case that...................it's also the thing that allows the drug trade to flourish. It allows money laundering to happen. It allows murder for hire to happen."

What's certain is that the need for Tor    -or something like it  -isn't going away. The Internet is becoming an increasingly unprivate place, where multi-billion dollar business plans are being built on companies ability to observe and rapaciously harvest every last iota and fillip of consumer behaviour.

More and more, it falls to consumers themselves to say where the line is and to take control of this personal information,

What makes the Internet, and particularly the  Deep Web, so hard to pin down is that it cuts across so many spheres that used to be strictly  separate. It's private and public, personal and professional, and political, all at the same time, it has a particular way of compressing all the formerly disparate threads of our lives into one single pipeline leading directly into our studies and bedrooms.

It's virtually impossible for the law to tease those strands apart again. Right now we're trapped unpleasantly between two ideals, the blissful anonymity of the Net as it was conceived and the well-regulated panopticon it is becoming.

It's the worst of both the worlds: the Deep provides too much privacy and the rest of the Web not and never enough.

Meanwhile, fills his days writing letters to friends and family and reading Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander. He has no Internet access. He may, however, still have some of the pirate's treasure.

On Oct. 25, Bharara announced that, after a prolonged hacking campaign, investigators had gained access to a cache of  122,000  of the Dread Pirate Roberts  Bitcoins, worth over  $24.9 million.

But there may be many more millions out there. People may always be fallible, and venal, but technology at least for the time being, can still keep some of our secrets.

With respectful dedication to all the users, subscribers of the InterNet and the Web. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Power To The Students "'

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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