Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht joins Twitter from prison

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht joins Twitter from prison

Andrew Wyrich

2018-07-20 09:15 am

@RealRossU/Twitter

BTW

Ross Ulbricht, the convinced founder of the Silk Road dark web community, joined Twitter on Thursday.

In a note posted with his first tweet, Ulbricht said he has not sure what he will end up tweeting about, but hoped the account would help him connect with people while serving his time in prison.

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“It’s coming up on five years that I’ve been in prison though, so I’m hoping this will help me feel more connected to the outside,” he wrote.

Hi, this is Ross! I’m hoping to find my voice here after all these years of silence. It has been a strange journey, but I’m so grateful for all those who’ve shown love and support and held me up through the hard times. You give me strength. https://t.co/x4m6J3lgha

— Ross Ulbricht (@RealRossU) July 19, 2018

Ross Ulbricht

@RealRossU

Hi, this is Ross! I’m hoping to find my voice here after all these years of silence. It has been a strange journey, but I’m so grateful for all those who’ve shown love and support and held me up through the hard times. You give me strength.

https://

freeross.org/twitter-note.j

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9:35 AM – Jul 19, 2018


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Ulbricht, who went as Dread Pirate Roberts on Silk Road, was convicted in 2015 on a number of charges stemming from is involvement with the dark web community. He faced a maximum of life in prison and is serving two life sentences in New York.

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In June, the Supreme Court refused to consider Ulbricht’s appeal to overturn his life sentence, as Reuters points out.

The Silk Road was the first modern black market online using the dark web. It was shut down in 2013. A similar website, Alpha Bay, was taken down last year as part of an investigation by the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and EuroPol.

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Online Drug Markets: A Better Alternative to the Current Black Market

Even those against drug legalization should be against crack-downs on online drug sites.

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Ross Ulbricht has recently joined Twitter. Social Media users everywhere are now able to hear words right out of the Dread Pirate Roberts’s mouth. It is a wonderful but saddening thing. He can still spread encouragement in all of our agoristic activities, yet his continued imprisonment is a constant reminder of how broken our justice system is. Ross Ulbricht is a pioneering figure, showing what can be done with technology to resist the power of the state by running an online drug market.

Many do not see Ross as a hero, though. After all, he did (allegedly) provide a platform for people to sell illegal Schedule One drugs. Drugs such as crack and heroin can be deadly if used irresponsibly, so many see Ross as an enabler for people to ruin their lives.

Once producers lace them, the danger of the drugs increases drastically. In the status quo, all drug trade occurs in the black market. Those without a trusted dealer cannot be sure that the product they are receiving is the real deal. Consumers do not know if the drugs have been diluted or laced. Tampering with products in such a way may even slip through the cracks for a user’s trusted dealer. This is proving to be a serious problem across the world.

The Overdose Epidemic

Statistics from Canada show that fentanyl in street heroin has risen nearly 2000% in recent years:

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This is a serious problem, and it exists in the United States too. The CDC reported that over half of the overdoses in ten surveyed states were because of fentanyl. Fentanyl is being added to both cocaine and heroin causing overdose rates to skyrocket. Some believe that this increased lacing is being done so that unsuspecting users will become incredibly more addicted to fentanyl. It makes people who only use occasionally use much more often.

White Market Safety

Even as a person who believes that drugs should not be under the restrictions by the state put upon the population, I think this opioid crisis is horrendous and saddening. Life is precious, so we should work to preserve it. I want a world of legal drug use because I believe that that would promote the safety of the users and reduce the number of deaths. My line of reasoning is as follows: when drugs are legal, dealers do not need to hide any longer. They can openly present the drugs and openly compete with other suppliers.

The fact that all of this would not be occurring on the white market means that consumers could be much more aware of dilution or lacing of products. The market would root out dealers that sold excessively dangerous drugs. Consumers would not tolerate such dangerous action. Contracts could hypothetically even be devised that indicate that the dealer is liable for excess harm to the self done because of the substance. (I say excess harm because we should not pretend we do not currently harm ourselves with the things we consume. Sugar, cigarettes, and alcohol use all harm us, if only to a minor degree.)

Obviously, this is not the status quo. Many drugs are on the Schedule One drug list, preventing this open market competition to actually occur. Instead, violent conflict resolution and deception to the consumer dominates the market. These shady dealings are what is allowing for the mass peddling of fentanyl-rich hard drugs. But there is an alternative: online drug markets.

Online Drug Markets

The Dread Pirate Roberts, an individual (allegedly Ross Ulbricht) or group of individuals, created the Silk Road online drug trade site. It and similar sites allow for consumers to rate certain vendors in a way similar to the way you can rate eBay vendors. If you are trying to buy a television on eBay, you are not going to buy from the one-star vendor. You will look at the five-star vendor with hundreds of positive reviews.

Similarly, if you are trying to buy cocaine, you are not going to buy from an unreviewed or one-star vendor. The online dealers will either scam you or send you a laced load of cocaine. This means that online drug markets are currently emulating what a decriminalized drug market would look like. Safety now actually can become a priority, and vendors have an incentive to uphold it.

I believe that those against drug legalization should be in support of online drug markets. As evidenced by the prohibition on alcohol and current prohibition on drugs, banning substance possession and use does not work. Drugs are being traded in increasingly dangerous manners the more the state cracks down on their use. Online drug sites accessible through the dark web are the safest way for drugs to circulate. And if safety is not your priority when people are using drugs, then what is your problem with them anyway?

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