| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 6 A new anonymous Internet
marketplace for illegal drugs debuted on Wednesday, with the
same name and appearance as the Silk Road website shut down by
U.S. law enforcement authorities a month ago.
Like its predecessor, the new Silk Road listed hundreds of
advertisements for marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other illegal
drugs available for purchase from independent sellers using the
anonymous Bitcoin digital currency.
On Oct. 1, the Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the
original Silk Road and arrested its alleged mastermind, Ross
William Ulbricht, 29, known online as "Dread Pirate Roberts," in
"It took the FBI two-and-a-half years to do what they
did...but four weeks of temporary silence is all they got," a
site administrator wrote, also using the "Dread Pirate Roberts"
The FBI declined to comment on the new version of the Silk
Road. For more than two years, the original site acted like an
eBay of vice, allowing users to buy and sell illegal goods and
services on the assumption that they were safe from the law.
Deliveries were made through the mail in discrete packages.
U.S. authorities also say Ulbricht had tried to call out a
hit on a user who had threatened to expose the identities of
thousands of Silk Road users.
The charges against Ulbricht said his website generated
sales of more than 9.5 million Bitcoins, roughly equivalent to
The new website improves on technology from the previous
Silk Road meant to keep identities secret, including measures to
keep users from losing their Bitcoins in case the site shuts
down, according to the new Dread Pirate Roberts.
A week after authorities shut down the Silk Road, British
police said they arrested four men accused of being significant
users of the site.
Like the original Silk Road, users access the new site using
a no-cost, anti-surveillance service known as the Tor network
instead of traditional web browsers.
The new Silk Road will soon hire staff to handle marketing
for the site, the administrator mentioned in his post.
"The Silk Road has risen once more...Open communication with
your old suppliers and customers, let this wonderful news be
taken to all corners of the Tor Network and beyond," the person
(Additional reporting by Emily Flitter in New York; Editing by