Last week we discussed the story about the FBI raiding Ross William Ulbricht, the founder of the underground online market Silk Road. The raid was followed by the complete shut down of the Silk Road, an online market that was used primarily for illegal products and services. However, soon after the raid, news was spreading on the web that some users were planning on restarting the Silk Road, except this time under the name Silk Road 2.0.
According to John Biggs at TechCrunch (a site which has been covering this story fairly closely), creators of another similar “anonymous marketplace” called Atlantis are vowing to reopen the Silk Road while making it bigger and better.
From the words and opinions of the people supporting these anonymous networks, it seems to them that the Federal Government has angered a beehive by shutting down Silk Road. John Biggs writes, “Hackers, now emboldened, will produce many more SR-like sites than any government can police.”
Much like users on normal websites and online communities have banded together in a grassroots manner to keep their beloved sites working, it seems like hackers will now be making it even harder for the government to control these sorts of anonymous networks and marketplaces. This trend of users acting in their own interest has steadily increased in almost every region of the internet as the web 2.0 movement became broadly accepted.
It will be very interesting to see how the government responds to the hackers and site owners who attempt to resist them at every turn. There is already news that hackers are creating even more secure and anonymous systems and programs (BitWasp is mentioned in John’s article) to avoid tracking and consequences for whatever actions they are taking online and off.
At the very least, the story is bringing attention to the rarely recognized section of the internet called the “deep web.”