Light just reached one of the darker corners of the web: the FBI has seized Silk Road, a site infamous for hosting anonymized, Bitcoin-based drug and gun sales.
The move follows a sting operation that also led to the arrest of site founder Ross Ulbricht (aka Dread Pirate Roberts) for alleged hacking, money laundering and narcotics trafficking.
While the seizure isn’t likely to stop online contraband purchases, it’s potentially a big blow. At current Bitcoin values, Silk Road generated $1.2 billion in revenue from just two years of operation — the kind of cash that we’d expect from a large, legitimate e-commerce venture. The FBI’s move also demonstrates that anonymizing technology like Tor won’t always keep law enforcement at bay.
Source: Nicholas Weaver (PDF)