You can read
up on The Silk Road here, but to condense it: it's an
anonymous marketplace that makes it possible for a buyer and
seller, usually of drugs (but a number of other things for sale),
to protect their identities and safely arrange an online
transaction. It's an Amazon/eBay hybrid that specializes in
Unfortunately the even-tempered and privacy-obsessed attitude that goes into buying drugs online runs directly counter to social media's siren song of "Share! Share! Share!" But why would you confess to buying drugs online? You'd have to be pretty stupid, right?
You have to be a little tech-savvy, slightly aware of how privacy works, and very discreet in order to successfully complete a Silk Road purchase. Transactions are made using an untraceable digital currency called Bitcoin and users will often communicate with each other using PGP encryption. Furthermore, the entire storefront operates on the Tor network, a layer of the Internet that remains invisible to more popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
It bears repeating that this is an exception to the rule. An overwhelming majority of Silk Road users are discreet and competent. They aren't the type of people who would post pictures of their stash. That's just the Internet's version of a showboating street thug who needs to remind everyone how cool he is.
Careless users could be the very undoing of Silk Road. By tweeting first and not even stopping to ask questions later, they give away details about themselves, the illegal substance they possess, and, in some instances, details about the vendors that sell the item. Not a happy situation for either party.
This is an excellent reminder about the human element of security. You can encrypt communications, you can delete records, you can change passwords. All these things matter and they go a long way towards protecting your identity. B ut you can't really undo a Facebook post that your mom sees.
The Daily Dot points to several examples of teenagers tweeting pictures of their LSD purchases, asking on Tumblr if it's safe to order drugs to a certain city, even posting a picture of your latest DMT score right next to a picture of your face. Some might even be so thoughtful as to include the #silkroad hashtag.
A minority of Silk Road customers are going social media-happy, bragging online about their latest illegal drug acquisitions, reports The Daily Dot.
This is insane. Many of these people have their real names attached to their posts. Perhaps they tweet about their jobs or something identifying about where they live. If you want to turn your social media accounts into crime scenes, someone will figure out who you are.
The Silk Road storefront Screenshot
Regulation News Moves Bitcoin Prices, BIS Report Says
A new report from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) contends that bitcoin markets are swayed by news events related to regulation.
"While cryptocurrencies are often thought to operate out
Walmart Tells Produce Suppliers to Use Blockchain by Next September
Walmart plans to sell leafy greens that are tracked using blockchain technology within the next year.
In a press release published Monday, the world's largest retailer both by revenue and by employ
The US Should Take a 'Leadership' Role on Blockchain, IBM Report Argues
Developers and companies researching blockchain technology are looking to the U.S. government to help spur adoption, a new report by IBM claims.
Written by Thomas Hardjono, director of the MIT Trus
Coinbase Just Partnered With A Token Startup in Bid to Attract Pro Traders
U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase has teamed up with the token-based trading protocol startup Caspian in an effort to boost its offerings aimed at pro traders and financial firms.
Under the deal,
Australia's Securities Watchdog Has Halted 5 ICOs Since April
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said late last week that it has stopped five initial coin offerings (ICOs) from taking place since April.
In a statement, the commission
Momentum Is Building to Block Big Miners from Ethereum's Blockchain
Several ethereum miners and developers have come forward with the goal of stopping specialized mining hardware from effectively operating on the network.
Underway since April, the controversy surro
'500 Transactions a Second': Vitalik Says Zk-Snarks Could Scale Ethereum
A form of cryptography pioneered by zcash might help scale ethereum, founder of the platform Vitalik Buterin said on a research forum Saturday.
Named zk-snarks, Buterin said, by using the tech, eth
Juventus Soccer Club Is Launching a Crypto Token to Give Fans a 'Voice'
One of the most popular soccer clubs in the world is launching a crypto token that it says will boost fan numbers by allowing them to "be heard."
For the effort, Italy's Juventus Football Club, whi