Man Got Life Time in Prison For Making a Website? What Really Happened

Man Got Life Time in Prison For Making a Website? What Really Happened

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They say that if you look hard enough, you
can find just about anything you want on the
internet- and if it’s not on the internet,
then it’s probably either on the dark web
or the deep web.
This was where savvy internet users could
access the now infamous Silk Road internet
marketplace- described as the eBay of vice,
Silk Road connected buyers and sellers who
were interested in exchanging everything from
weapons to drugs, and quite a few things in
But just what was the most notorious internet
site of all time really about?
Hello and welcome to another episode of The
Infographics Show- today we’re taking a look
at the rise and fall of the Darkweb’s Silk
The ‘deep web’ is made up of all the internet
sites not indexed by search engines, with
estimates saying that this deep web is actually
many times larger than the ‘real’ internet.
It’s not exactly hidden, but if you are a
normal internet user you simply can’t find
it because your search engines don’t know
how to- it’s kind of like having a map with
only one destination on it, you can’t see
all the branches and forks in the road that
lead to other destinations because they aren’t
written on your map.
Lurking below even this deep web though is
the infamous dark web, a place where you need
special software to actually access.
These websites notoriously tend to operate
outside of the law, and are the home of many
of the digital horror stories we sometimes
see come to light.
Few dark web websites though were as well
known or infamous as Silk Road.
A digital marketplace, Silk Road connected
buyers and sellers who used Bitcoin to exchange
goods and services which were almost overwhelmingly
To access this hidden marketplace a user needed
a client such as Tor onion network- a software
program ironically developed by the US navy
that enables online anonymity.
But what was the Silk Road really about?
Silk Road was developed by Ross ‘Dread Pirate
Roberts’ Ulbricht, a young self-described
libertarian with a degree in physics from
the University of Texas and a Masters in Engineering
from Pennsylvania State University.
After graduating, Ulbricht became a research
assistant at his alma mater, but after deciding
he didn’t want to be a full-time scientist,
he tried to form a number of startups including
an online book store.
None of these attempts panned out however,
and Ulbricht took his talents to Silicon Valley,
hoping to join the digital start-up community.
Skeptical of the government’s War on Drugs
and holding strong libertarian views, Ulbricht
developed an online marketplace in 2011 which
he named after the historical trade route
network that linked Europe to East Asia: the
Silk Road.
Ulbricht claimed to have started this marketplace
of vice with a noble purpose, wanting to make
the world a better place and “to use economic
theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion
and aggression among mankind.”
A completely unregulated and free market,
Ulbricht wanted to empower users to decide
for themselves what they wanted to put into
their bodies, as well as save them the danger
of having to deal with shady drug dealers
or falling afoul of the law.
The site matched buyers and sellers and even
let users rate each other in order to build
trust within this anonymous network.
Transactions were to be made with bitcoin,
which while not completely anonymous were
a great deal safer than using credit card
transactions to buy illegal drugs with.
While originally setting up the site Ulbricht
claims that he wanted to restrict content
to what he considered ‘victimless crimes’-
though try telling a heartbroken family just
how victimless a crime it is to enable a serious
and destructive drug habit.
Listings to child pornography, stolen credit
cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass
destruction were banned, and a survey in 2013
showed that 70% of all listings were indeed
for drugs.
As the site grew in popularity and began generation
more cash however, Ulbricht- as so often is
the case for self-described idealists- began
to relax the policies he set in place and
weapons began to be sold on the website.
Claiming that this choice was brought on by
increasing regulations on firearm purchases
which clashed with his idealistic libertarian
views, Ulbricht offered no explanation for
why other contraband products also began to
grow, to include the sale of child pornography.
Perhaps Silk Road had grown too big for Ulbricht,
or perhaps the millions in cash he was earning
spoke louder than his stated principles.
It might seem nuts to buy your drugs online
and have them mailed to your house, but Silk
Road provided a level of anonymity which protected
its users for years, even as the FBI launched
a full-scale investigation.
Buyers and vendors could rate each other based
on quality, reliability,and price, which helped
spark confidence from other users.
Orders were nearly always fulfilled, with
the exception of the rare cases where the
authorities intercepted a shipment, and even
if intercepted, the recipients could simply
feign ignorance as to why this package of
drugs, guns, or child porn was being delivered
to them.
With no digital link to the site, no law enforcement
could produce charges against a customer for
simply receiving a package in the mail.
Over $1 billion dollars flowed through Silk
Road during its lifetime, and Ulbricht would
go on to make an estimated $28 million dollars
by the time he was arrested.
Authorities were aware of Silk Road within
just months of its launch, but a focused investigation
would take over two years to uncover Ulbricht’s
real identity.
Law enforcement had to try and infiltrate
the network, then slowly track down suppliers
and administrators on a one-by-one basis.
Unfortunately for law enforcement, none of
Silk Road’s admins had ever learned Ulbricht’s
real name.
However over time, the FBI gradually flipped
Ulbricht’s closest associates and drew nearer
to their quarry.
Ironically for a man who created an entire
online marketplace that sold illegal goods
and depended on complete anonymity and secrecy,
Ulbricht himself would not be discovered by
a flipped informant, but by his own digital
A simple google search of Ulbricht’s handle:
Dread Pirate Roberts, revealed a connection
to another alias called ‘altoid’ that had
been an early promoter of Silk Road on another
drug forum.
That alias was then traced to a bitcoin forum
where Ulbricht had long ago posted his personal
email address.
Not exactly a pro move on Ulbricht’s behalf.
Though Ulbricht long professed his hopes to
use Silk Road to make the world a better place
and help people by letting them avoid dealing
with dangerous drug dealers, Ulbricht’s hypocrisy
was revealed in the final stages of the investigation
against him.
During the FBI’s investigation, they revealed
the identity of a Curtis Green, a middle-aged
father of two who worked as a seller and moderator
on the site.
Arrested by the FBI, Ulbricht feared that
Green would become an informant, and without
hesitation this libertarian idealist who just
wanted to help people immediately contacted
another associate and asked him to kill Green
for him.
This associate, known as ‘Nob’, turned out
to be a DEA agent who had infiltrated Silk
Road, and using the opportunity to get closer
to Ulbricht, Nob staged a killing of Curtis
Green after receiving a sum of $40,000.
After the faked assassination Ulbricht expressed
remorse, but said that it had been necessary.
If Ulbricht hoped to convince anyone of his
doe-eyed innocent pragmatism however it wouldn’t
work, as evidence later revealed that Ulbricht
had attempted numerous times to hire assassins
to kill others on his behalf- once even trying
to hire a member of the Hell’s Angels to kill
a Silk Road user that was blackmailing Ulbricht
by launching a denial of service attack against
Silk Road.
Ulbricht would ultimately be exposed as another
greedy fraud, his lofty morals and ideals
immediately disregarded the moment profits
started being generated, even going so far
as trying to murder people to protect his
A US court would go on to hand Ulbricht double
life sentences with no possibility of parole
for his role in one of the largest drug trades
the world has ever seen, with charges of money
laundering, computer hacking, and drug trafficking.
Ross Ulbricht claimed to want to help people
and make the world a better place, but ultimately
all he did was allow criminal enterprises
actively hurting and killing people to easily
launder millions of dollars in cash, enable
self-destructive addicts around the world
to continue their terrible addictions, enable
the victimization and exploitation of children
to be used as sex slaves in online videos,
and put guns in the hands of criminals.
Claiming to foster libertarian values and
protesting what he considered government overreach,
Ulbricht ultimately would be exposed as a
fraud, interested in nothing more than keeping
the power he had earned and all the money
that came with it- no matter who got hurt,
or who he had to kill to do it.
The Dark Web can be a scary place, and not
one that most people know how to access.
But ask yourself, do you know if your personal
information being bought and sold on the Dark
Web right now?
How would you even find out?
Well with Dashlane knowing if your identity
is secure is as easy as clicking your mouse,
their free dark web scan will automatically
search for your personal information so you
can breathe easy or take steps to protect
yourself immediately.
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only is signing in and checking out online
on any platform as easy as clicking a button,
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Head on over to
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coupon code ‘infographics’ you can get
10% off a premium subscription!
Drug laws may be overly harsh in many parts
of the world, but is free-for-all access really
the best solution?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other show
How Did He Become The King of Cocaine – Pablo
Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe.
See you next time.

100 thoughts on “Man Got Life Time in Prison For Making a Website? What Really Happened”

  1. Ohhhh thatโ€™s why they say โ€œmail it to your own address, not your neighborโ€ because when the feds show up, who is crazy enough to mail class A drugs to their own house?

  2. SWIM traveled "The Road" safely and responsibly for almost two years. When it was closed SWIM mistakenly thought that they was the smartest in the wrong room, at the wrong time and with the wrong people). Google, E-Bay, Amazon and even Micro$oft have all kept to their values and so far are succeeding in their individual Missions.

  3. Ive seen sources that say he made about $120 million from the site and the site handled about $9 billion worth of orders?

  4. The deep web is actually pretty fun to use, granted with the proper tools, but once you are there it's a lot less scary than articles make you think it is. But even with this it's still a good idea to do your research and stay safe. Happy Browsing.

  5. You didn't mention once that he claims to have sold the website early on to the next dread pirate Roberts and wasn't the one who betrayed libertarian values.

  6. The narrator inflicts viewers with that clueless canard about victimless crime when he burbles, "Try telling that to the heartbroken family of [loved one with drug problem."]
    The very illegality of the drugs in question is more than half the problem. The insane profit to be made on the black market is behind the violence the Dark Web entrepreneur purported to be protecting people from. Could such an actor also prevent the damage and death caused by illegal drug vendors who don't have to adhere to the dosage and purity laws overseen by the FDA (talk about heartbroken). I also wonder how helpful it is to parents seeking medical treatment for their seriously drug-addicted child to have to navigate the legal system while they're at it.

    U.S. drug policy is a goddamned disgrace. It needlessly incarcerates citizens (if your drug problem fails to lead you to ruin, a felony conviction will help with that). Police are enriched and corrupted — and civil rights are routinely violated — by asset forfeiture laws. The court system groans under the bloated caseload. This list could go on, but we don't have all week.

    Whether the Dark Web guy had good intentions or not (and I lean toward not), schemes like that don't seem helpful to me. Allow recreational drugs to be manufactured by regulated pharmaceutical companies. Implement the price controls, taxation and obligations encumbent upon other legitimate business. Treat substance abuse as the public health problem it is and get law enforcement out of it. Then channel the gazillion dollars we save into education, research and treatment that actually helps instead of hurts.

  7. Nevermind the majority of inaccuracies in the video but at 6:00 minutes you go into complete fantasy. The murder for hire nonsense was never even charged let alone proven in court in any way possible. This channel is full of bullshit, but this goes into the realm of slanderous…

  8. Way too long!
    There are people where I live who commit murder and maybe do 7-10 years.
    The guys biggest crime was conspiracy to commit murder. …other than that, he created an online store. That's it!
    Remember, he didnt actually deal drugs or sell child porn. All he did was make a web site.
    Not a good idea to let guns or child porn in…. I wouldn't have, but that's me.
    Still…. DOUBLE LIFE???? What kind of bat shit crazy bible belt half brained justice is that? …It's not like all of the drugs, guns, and every type of porn isn't sold every single day anyway. I guarantee you those trades weren't even dented.
    20 years is what he should have gotten. That's a lot of time just for making a web site and being stupid. … I get it, they needed to make an example, but 20 years is enough of an example.
    His lawyers should be appealing every aspect of this case that they possibly can.

  9. They found out who Ross was because of a back-end hack they did on his server when they found a leaked IP. This was incredibly illegal without a warrant, which is why it was never acknowledged by the authorities. But, itโ€™s been damn near proven.
    The notion that they found him through solely a posting board from years earlier is ludicrous.

  10. and how much is he worse than a lot of ceos and investors of big companies

    oh yeah they bribed politicians

    stupid double morals

  11. i think that Amazon is trying to disguise itself as part of the surface web while in reality, it is part of the dark web because you can buy medieval weapons, tasers, and REAL guns on Amazon. The only reason it shows up in search is because it is really good at making itself look like part of the surface web

  12. Why whould someone be selling my personal information in the dark web?
    I have no friends and im not rich soo im gonna pass it

  13. this story is actually wrong. What you hear from 6:20 on is blatantly false and disregard the real facts at hand.

  14. 440 thousand people now think Ulbricht was allowing cp to be sold on his site. no that wasn't the case and also the murders he should hired were never proofen, thats ridiculous how are you so missinformed about the topic you're making a 10 min video on

  15. He did a lot of bad but I kinda agree with his initial intentions of free enterprise and decision making, thatโ€™s true freedom really, he just kinda got corrupt as the money went up. But

  16. Just pretend I said something funny and like this comment, Iโ€™m too lazy to make joke

  17. I don't want to know but he said they got soft ware for dark web? Like do you go to staples and ask for dark web software?

  18. Unfortunately, the government will go to any length to assert its authority over the serfs. It's the reason behind the War on Drugs, gun control, etc.

  19. Not true because the so called deep web is mostly the a old version of the internet that was banned from Google from lacking certification and these deep web developer just modify web browser to display obsolete format.

  20. โ–‘โ–’โ–“โ–ˆโ–‡โ–†โ–…โ–„โ–ƒโ–‚Gousโ–‚โ–ƒโ–„โ–…โ–†โ–‡โ–ˆโ–“โ–’โ–‘ says:

    The last things about what happened because the site exists.
    It will with or without it, no matter how you turn it.

  21. This guy ross made 28 million dollars got two life sentences and know they are petitioning to get him freed no i dont think so unless he gives me some of the 28 million dollars i aint putting my name on no petition

  22. I honestly don't think he was that bad of a person, all he did was create a platform that let people buy/sell anything, which happens either way, whether or not you can agree with what is being sold, it will be sold one way or another, and that's just how life goes.

  23. WAIT THE VIDEO TIME IS 911 THE POLICE HAVE TAKEN OVER ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ

  24. The Dark Web is actually many times smaller than the surface Web as fewer people use it and most of the sites are dead.

  25. ๐š†๐šŽ ๐š•๐š’๐šŸ๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š›๐š˜๐šž๐š—๐š ๐š๐š‘๐š’๐šœ ๐šŠ๐š—๐š ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ ๐šŠ๐š ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ ๐š‘๐š˜๐š  ๐š–๐šŠ๐š—๐šข ๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š๐šž๐šŠ๐š•๐š•๐šข ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ. ๐™น๐šž๐šœ๐š ๐š‹๐šŽ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š๐š‘๐šŽ๐šข ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ ๐šœ๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š›๐šŽ๐š .

  26. I miss the 70's . Back when it was safe to get on the school bus with a 12 gauge shotgun partly concealed under your jacket.
    Don't try that now , You WILL be labeled a terrorist. Can you even believe People actually once used guns primarily to hunt for food. And they where NOT scary or criminalized.
    Also Every one was buying or selling drugs , and a HIT MAN was simply something you asked your friend for when They lit up a doobie. "Hey…Can I get a HIT MAN" .

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