For Users of 'Silk Road' Drug Site, It's Time to Worry

More arrests have followed that of its alleged founder

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 8, 2013 12:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's the last thing users of the now-shuttered Silk Road website wanted to hear about: more drug-related arrests. Last week, authorities in San Francisco nabbed the site's alleged leader, Ross Ulbricht. Now it appears that the investigation won't stop there. Eight more alleged drug dealers who used the site—described as a kind of black-market eBay for illicit drugs—have been arrested around the world, reports BuzzFeed. That includes two people in Washington state (one accused of being a top seller), four in Britain, and two in Sweden.

Much about the investigation is unclear, but "what we do know is that Silk Road users are freaking out," writes Adam Clarke Estes at Gizmodo. "On Reddit, there are now numerous different threads going in which clearly rattled former Silk Road users are wondering if the Feds are coming for them next and if they should talk to a lawyer." They probably had a false sense of security because the site was so hard to access and conducted its encrypted transactions in Bitcoins, adds BuzzFeed's John Herman. "But these technological safeguards aren’t really safeguards at all: Buying and selling illegal substances through a service run by the government, it turns out, is more than enough to get you caught."

This frame grab from the Silk Road website shows thumbnails for products allegedly available through the site.
This frame grab from the Silk Road website shows thumbnails for products allegedly available through the site.   (AP Photo/silkroaddrugs.org)
This artist rendering shows Ross William Ulbricht appearing in Federal Court in San Francisco on Friday. He allegedly ran the Silk Road site.
This artist rendering shows Ross William Ulbricht appearing in Federal Court in San Francisco on Friday. He allegedly ran the Silk Road site.   (AP Photo/Vicki Behringer)
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