Thoughts on the Ulbricht matter, from a couple of days post-arrest

    ross ulbricht

    Tonight, I checked out‘s website. I heard about it a few days ago, but basically culls data from Reddit (via their publicly accessibly API’s) about your activity on that site. My highest rated submission brings up a point that I had honestly forgotten about until being refreshed, and I thought I should share it (again).

    I don’t know when I made the post, except that it was a few days after Ulbricht’s arrest in 2013. If anyone out knows how to refine Reddit’s post submission dates, I would be interested to find out when exactly I wrote it.

    TL/DR: Contrary to “popular belief”, parallel construction was in no way needed to draw a line from Ross Ulbricht to the Silk Road. He did that himself, in such a blatant way that it’s not surprising that no one had noticed.

    The original post continues:


    Like many people around here, I’d heard of SR over the last couple of years (in bitcoin discussions or because of media interviews), but paid it not too much attention. But the recent takedown has arroused my curiousity, as it’s basically the second greatest spy novel in the news today besides the whole Snowden affair.

    I was reading an old story on AllThingsVice, “Which Pirate Is That?” speculating that there was a handoff of the DPR identity around a year ago. Wondered about that, so I went to the free Ross Ulbricht site (See Note 1)  to check out (archives of DPR posts that the author collected) (ref: (See Note 2) and to the October 2012 timeframe, and was skimming along, reading about liberalism, etc when I happened up upon this….

    A user asked DPR about his initial marketing strategy, to which DPR replied:

    “regarding marketing, I started a thread on the bitcoin forum. everything else has been word of mouth.”

    (HERE (See Note 3) just scroll all the way to the bottom, it’s the last post on the page)

    Wow! The FBI complaint made it seem as though they had to go digging and digging through hundreds of pages of google’s search results in order to find out how the world became aware of SR; apparently, they could have skipped that and simply asked him where he made his initial postings, then skipped along over to Bitcointalk to locate his first mention of Slik Road, and read through a few more posts (the guy only had 40 or so) to discover his real name and email address.

    One has to even wonder at this point how SR lasted as long as it did. This isn’t even finding a trail of breadcrumbs after the fact. No need to “parallel reconstruction” or any other conspiracy as to how the FBI zeroed in on him. He left a not very hidden clue right in the forums that ANYONE (FBI, blackmailer, or anyone else) could have followed with ease.

    I know, it’s over a week since the news, but my jaw just hit the floor when I stumbled upon that posting. Haven’t found the post that AllThingsVice cited about him “changing writing styles” to throw off the authorities that I went looking for, but this just seemed like a juicy tidbit to relay.


    Note 1: The original link was to , but since the Free Ross website was launched, the original link now points to the Ulbricht family’s Costa Rican rental property

    Note 2: This is now a dead link
    Original Link:

    Note 3: This is now a dead link. Original link:

    References: – “DPR’s Sloppiness, Continued” – my original submission to /r/silkroad shortly after Ulbrichts arrest  –“Which Pirate Is That?” – – original article linked to this site, but this site now forwards to a site advertising the Ulbricht Family’s Costa Rican rental property. – – the Ulbricht family’s Official Site for promoting Ross Ulbricht and raising funds for his defense.

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