The Silk Road Is Back: The Dread Pirate Roberts Sails The Illicit Online Drug Trade Again


TIME

Six months after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of Silk Road, the largest online marketplace for illicit drugs and other contraband, business has never been better for the website, according to a new report to be released Wednesday by the Digital Citizens Alliance obtained exclusively by TIME.

There are approximately 13,648 listings for drug on the Darknet website, which requires anonymization technology to known as Tor to access, compared to the 13,000 listed shortly before Ulbricht’s arrest. While that’s an increase of just five percent, the Darknet drug economy has grown an astonishing 75% in the last six months thanks to the proliferation of Silk Road competitors, according to the report. The group spent eight months studying the Darknet drug economy both before and after Ulbricht’s arrest.

Many believed that the Darknet drug trade would die out after Ulbricht’s arrest and the subsequent arrests of three original…

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