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Lessons from the Silk Road Arrest

Published: October 3, 2013
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Source: EPJ

Here are a few important points to go over in light of the arrest of the alleged Silk Road operator, Ross Ulbricht.

1. It is extremely dangerous and not very smart to go after government directly. We see once again that government, as with the Adam Kokesh case, has superior resources. They will get you. Ulbricht was out there with a target on his back just by operating Silk Road, taunting government officials made no sense.

The operator of Silk Row, now alleged to be Ulbricht, told Forbes in August:

We’re talking about the potential for a monumental shift in the power structure of the world. The people now can control the flow and distribution of information and the flow of money. Sector by sector the State is being cut out of the equation and power is being returned to the individual.
As a friend said to me, if they weren't  looking for him before the Forbes interview, it sure helped focus FBI attention after the interview.

2. Given how the FBI presented Bitcoin in its complaint against Ulbricht, it doesn't appear that the government is going to attempt to shut Bitcoin down, but rather they will use Bitcoin as a tool in tracking transactions. They will allow it to exist as a vehicle similar in ways to paypal. But with many continuing to hold the false belief that Bitcoin is an anonymous vehicle. It is not. In fact, in the days and weeks ahead, we are likely to hear about others who have been caught in the Silk Road dragnet. Many, if not all, of those most assuredly held the false belief that Bitcoin use, coupled with TOR, prevented them from being identified.

3. This is not the time to be adding your name to crypto-currency newsletter lists or attending crypto-currency conferences, unless, of course, you are a big fan of the surveillance state surveilling YOU. The government is watching. It wasn't just one FBI agent with warn out shoes tracking down Ulbricht. As theUlbbricht complaint points out, it was a joint federal agency operation that took down Silk Road:
I have been a Special Agent with the FBI for approximately five years. I am currently assigned to a cybercrime squad within the FBI's New York Field Office. I have been personally involved in the investigation of this matter, along with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and Homeland Security Investigations. 
Bottom line: The Feds are watching, don't do stupid stuff.

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