Do Not Read This Post

 Now we know why the anti-secrecy crusaders are so adamant. They’ve got a lot to hide.


This Hidden Site Has Been Seized


Federal authorities have shut down what they called the “most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the internet today,” an underground operation responsible for distributing illegal drugs and other black market goods and services.


The site’s alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested and $3.6 million in anonymous digital currency known as Bitcoins was seized. The site, which did about $1.2 billion in sales, was taken over by federal authorities, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday in the Southern District of New York.

Ulbricht was alleged to operate a website responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services, including fake IDs and computer hacking-related services. He was indicted on charges of  drug conspiracy, computer intrusion offensives conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.


As of September 2013, there also were 159 listings in the “services” category, which included vendors offering to hack into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts of the customer’s choosing, allowing them to “Write, Upload, Delete, View All Person Info” among other information.”

One listing offered tutorials on “22 different methods” for hacking ATM machines while another offered criminal services, including access to a “Blackmarket Contact List” described as a list of “connects” for “services” such as “Anonymous Bank Accounts,” “Counterfeit Bills,” “Firearms and Ammunition,” “Stolen Info [credit card, Paypal]” and “Hitmen {10_countries)”


The site generated sales revenue of over $9.5 million Bitcoins, which prosecutors estimate equal about $1.2 billion in sales and about $80 million in commissions.


From the BBC: Silk Road: How FBI closed in on suspect Ross Ulbricht


From the Guardian: FBI Claims Largest Bitcoin Seizure after arrest of alleged Silk Road Founder

[Special Agent Christopher] Tarbell alleges Ulbricht had “controlled and overseen all aspects” of  Silk Road’s operations, and alleged he had “pursued violent means” to maintain control of his marketplace. One affadavit alleges that on 29 March 2013 he “solicited a Silk Road user to execute a murder-for-hire of another Silk Road user who was threatening to release the identities of thousands of users of the site.” The affidavit notes that though a suer was paid $1,670 Bitcoins (roughly $150, 000), there is no record of a homicide in British Columbia where the hired hitman claimed to have carried out the killing – and sent a picture to “Dread Pirate Roberts” to confirm it.

Bitcoin price plummets after Silk Road closure

From Business Insider – links to virtual tour of Silk Road and Ulbricht’s manifesto 



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15 thoughts on “Do Not Read This Post

  1. PJ, on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863), Robert E. Lee ordered Pickett’s 15,000 soldiers to charge a position held by among others, Lt. Alonzo Cushing from Delafield, Wisconsin. Lee understood that units in the front and middle of Pickett’s division would take very heavy casualties. His hope was that units at the rear would retain sufficient unit cohesion to acquire federal artillery, such as Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, and “turn it against,” federal troops.

    “…Cushing commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg, and was hailed by contemporaries as heroic in his actions on the third day of the battle. He was wounded three times. First, a shell fragment went straight through his shoulder. He was then grievously wounded by a shell fragment which tore into his abdomen and groin. This wound exposed Cushing’s intestines, which he held in place with his hand as he continued to command his battery. After these injuries a higher-ranking officer said, “Cushing, go to the rear.” Cushing, due to the limited number of men left, refused to fall back. The severity of his wounds left him unable to yell his orders above the sounds of battle. Thus, he was held aloft by his 1st Sergeant Frederick Füger, who faithfully passed on Cushing’s commands. Cushing was killed when a bullet entered his mouth and exited through the back of his skull. He died on the field at the height of the assault….”

    Just like 19th century canon, software viruses (built in this case by the United States’ NatSec apparatus) can be “turned against,” any number of targets including U.S. manufacturers. IIRC, I’ve already showed you this link, “”The Worm Turns” As Chevron ‘Infected’ By Stuxnet Collateral Damage” . Reckless U.S. surveillance practices are effectively destroying the concept of private property, which undergirds patents, copyright, and all intellectual property.

    I hope the video and post below will help you to better understand the wider economic implications of government surveillance done in direct violation of the 4th Amendment.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Blowback: Stuxnet and the Ongoing Risk to Manufacturing Worldwide This time, I hope you’ll read it. Without “privacy,” manufacturers are crippled.

    As you know, the U.S.P.S. can offer no relief. The outside of an envelope has no expectation of privacy. “Forget The NSA’s Hi-Tech Snooping, The USPS Has Been Scanning Our Mail For Years”

    As you know, the NSA and its affiliates within the surveillance community simply set up on Big Data’s “switches” and “hoover-up” everything. In most cases they have no idea of what they have. The fact that they cannot protect their own data, however, at least doubles the exposure of everyone’s intellectual property.

    It also means that anyone working with that data is at much greater risk to be bribed or blackmailed (or both) into delivering “trade secrets,” to the wrong hands.

    1. EmoProgs Follow Reince Priebus Lead:

      Reince Priebus Demonstrating EmoProg Tactics

      EmoProgs have become the Tea Party of the Left. No, the Left does not have to capitulate to irrationalism from the Right Wing Tea Party; no, the Left does not have to capitulate to irrationalism from the Left Wing Tea Party.

      Behold: The next great uprising of Tea Party irrationality is on display before our very eyes – right here in our pond of croaking EmoProgs.

    2. Here’s John Casper calling up his brigade of war ghosts to garner sympathy for some totally unrelated event and apply it to his cause.

      John, this is exactly what Republicans are doing on the Shut Down. Trying to refight the ACA battle that has been decided, using unrelated, fryed emotions to justify their treason towards the American public. It’s not logical nor, in my estimation, legal. The President should declare Martial Law and arrest those idiots.

      As for people’s rights vs government’s right to know, we can’t run this country with anarchy. The majority just can’t get nor digest all the facts. That’s why we have representatives, legislators and judges. When a decision is made, the public has to either go along, or recall their representatives, judges or legislators and send up some new ones. That, as we have seen, doesn’t work very well. The better way is to advocate and elect representatives who we think will do a better job. Not easy, and often messy, but that’s democracy.

      1. Cat, I’m following the government shutdown story very closely and per prior comments have so far been extremely impressed with President Obama’s leadership.

        I’m sorry you think the debt ceiling battle is primarily about ACA, it isn’t. ACA’s a skirmish in a much larger battle for your Social Security benefits. They are “Last Stand Hill” for Democrats and the possibility looms that you won’t get a check in November. In the event that happens, I hope you have enough saved.

        PJ started this thread. My response is directly on point to the topic he chose.

      2. The President should declare Martial Law…

        Where the hell have you been. Ask any government watchdog prosecuted for truth telling or any high profile mortgage fraudsters not behind bars. You missed the latest NSA spying on US citizens revelations? You missed the 100 mile Constitution Free Zone? You missed the latest $75Trillliiiooon of worthless derivative instruments dumped onto the US economy? You missed corralled young women pepper sprayed, and you missed the Boston military takeover?

        You already missed the coup. Too late for Martial Law.

  2. Didn’t read past the first two sentences because you immediately failed to specify a particular group of anti-secrecy crusaders you were to be referring to. The Raging Grannies, perhaps?

    I didn’t look at Reince Priebus nor does your comment here regarding him likely make any sense to anyone.

    A fresh look at an explanation of journalism comes from the Guardian this morning. As you seem to have misplaced your meds, here is some logic and reason to calm you down. Have a peek.

    1. NQ,

      Go ahead and look at the Priebus post. It will be intimately familiar to you. These are the very tactics that you, for one, so often apply here on this blog.

      I’m unconcerned about what you did or did not read with respect to my post. Your comments are of no value. I do not read your comments or follow your links as a general rule of thumb, I therefore, take no umbrage nor offense to you ignoring any part of mine.

      1. PJ,

        You’re on a roll. “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

        You admit that “as a general rule,” you do not read nonquixote’s comments, but you still assert that his comments are of “no value.”

        If you don’t read them, how are you able to assess their “value?”

        If it’s not too much to ask, could you take the time to read some of his comments and pick out just one, that you think is of “no value.”

        1. You’re really going to go with this?

          John, I don’t read or I skim many of Nonquixote’s comments as I do with yours because both of you have consistently demonstrated comments of no value. Your comments and Nonquixote’s comments are historically of limited value to me. I do read some of them; I do read some of your links when there appears to be some value to them. If you or Nonquixote have replied directly to me I will make a point of reading those, but I will not read through your comments posted to me if the content proves of little or no merit for discussion or retort.

          You and Nonquixote have contributed some excellent comments and links to the blog, but neither of you demonstrate an interest in genuine and honest debate. You both are vindictive, nasty, and sniping. As to your conclusions – I agree with some and disagree with a lot. Where I take issue is in your propagandist method and irrational derivations. You can struggle to best me all you please – that is what the bulk of your comments and Nonquixote’s comments amount to. But, I’m not debating you. You and Nonquixote don’t know what debate is. You and Nonquixote are not debating. I’m not competing with you. You are free to continue behaving as if I were if you choose. But, for the record, I’m not.

          I think we’re both fairly aware of each other’s positions on a number of topics – where we agree, where we disagree. You are free to continue on your reactionary path. I am suggesting that you don’t. Your comment here is unnecessary and you are perfectly well aware that it represents nothing more than meaningless semantics. You are capable of better than petty trivialities like this.

          And for the record, your behavior with respect to Malala was atrocious. You can try to weasel out of it by claiming your comments were directed only at me, of course. And they were. What you don’t seem to understand about discourse is its transcendental quality. You should be ashamed of yourself for your inability to contain your spite and bitterness in that instance. For that, I shame you.

      2. And you only read Playboy HuffPo for the news and editorials, right? ;^) No sensationalism there these days. The best in modern journalism.

      3. But it is your BFF Glenn Greenwald discussing our national hero, Eric Snowden. It’ll make your day.

  3. When the “Drug Czar” was first proposed in 1982, many people including arch conservative, William F. Buckley, Jr., thought that all drugs should be made legal as is the alcohol drug.

    Gil Kerlikowske, in his first interview after being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy with the Washington Post, said the bellicose analogy of Drug Czar was a barrier to dealing with the nation’s drug issues.
    “Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”

    A war on people vs government: that’s one reason you have such resistant to sensible legislation like the ACA in this country. We’ve eliminated the Drug Czar title and some provisions of the law, but we really should realize that people have a right to control what they ingest as long as it doesn’t present a harm to the community. If drugs are legal but strickly regulated, then we will have the money we spend on fighting this “war on drugs/people” to invest in regulation, information and rehabilitation.

    Tied in with the ACA, there could be a win/win on health and the economy. I know, I’m a dreamer!

  4. JC,

    I will regard your “hiding behind the handle” comment for what it is – silly and hypocritical at the mildest. One must assume, given your comment, you don’t hold to those lofty ideals you espouse with respect to privacy – particularly Snowden’s devotion to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which, if I am not mistaken, you have linked to in the past. Review what they stand for with respect to anonymity and blogging. If, after you read it you still insist that I voluntarily give up my right to anonymity so deeply enshrined in everything that you and Snowden supposedly stand for, perhaps you can describe to me precisely why it is that I should voluntarily give up that right to you. Perhaps if you make a fine case, you can insist that every other commenter on this blog give up that right to you as well. Unless, of course, you’ll single me out for giving up that right to you. In which case, I will happily consider why it is that you believe I should give up my right to you.

    No. I haven’t changed my position on the 2nd Amendment. Individual gun ownership is not a right enshrined in the Constitution. If you are unclear on the specifics of my positions, search through the archives. I’ve covered the technical aspects in more than one of my comments.

    Even if individual gun ownership were a right, the Founders designed the Constitution with flexibility so it will meet the needs of the day. The 2nd Amendment no longer meets the needs of the day. Perhaps you would consider joining in the debate (providing of course, you actually debate)… thoughtfully respond to the questions posed in that post. Until you do, you are not debating, rather you are grandstanding with no small amount of disingenuous frippery, and you will not be taken seriously.

    Do you have a position on the matter of individual gun ownership as it pertains to We the People as a Society of Individuals? What is the purpose of gun ownership, not to the individual, but rather, what is the purpose of gun ownership for We the People, as a Society of Individuals?

    To the questions you have evaded previously on the “Where has Ryan Been on the Federal Shutdown post.”…

    Do you know why stonewalling works? As important, can you articulate it here?

    Do you know why extortion works? As important, can you articulate it here?

    Do you think Dems should adopt the ruthless and unconscionable tactics of the GOP?
    A simple yes or no will do. That said, I’ll draw attention to your comments: the more you write the more you demonstrate that not only do you agree with unconscionable Tea Party tactics, you will apply them to your own discourse. However, for the record, a simple yes or no will suffice.

      1. Nope. I see you are still putting forth all your effort to control the narrative. Have at it, NQ. Do your magic. Control the narrative.

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