Silk Road has left an indelible mark on Bitcoin’s history. The deep web marketplace operated by Ross Ulbricht is again in the news over a year after he was sentenced to life in prison on charges of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identity documents and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. This time, it is because of “another” Dread Pirate Roberts!
According to the lawyers representing Ross Ulbricht, someone had accessed the account as Dread Pirate Roberts on Silk Road forums weeks after his arrest. The incident has come to light after a thorough forensic analysis of all the backups and logs belonging to Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht.
The new evidence indicates that the person who accessed the account was probably a law enforcement officer. If it is indeed true, then it may amount to tampering of evidence against Ross Ulbricht by the government, raising further questions about the conviction itself. Many people have questioned the severity of Ross Ulbricht’s prison sentence and since his arrest, two law enforcement agents have been charged with extortion and money laundering for stealing bitcoins belonging to Ulbricht and Silk Road.
In a communication with one of the online publications, the lawyers Dratel and Lindsay Lewis have mentioned that they have no idea how many times someone else has logged into Ulbricht’s account without his knowledge and whether they have, at any point of time impersonated him. They were quoted by the publication saying,
“The importance of the access issue is amplified by the fact that the timestamp for the last log-in by Dread Pirate Roberts on the Silk Road forum is November 18, 2013 — a full six weeks after Mr. Ulbricht’s arrest… Thus, obviously someone other than Mr. Ulbricht was continuing to log in to Silk Road as Dread Pirate Roberts.”
The court proceedings and sentencing was based on the belief that Ross Ulbricht was the sole owner and administrator of Silk Road. However, the defense had contested that Ulbricht was framed by the “real” Dread Pirate Roberts. The question of multiple Dread Pirate Roberts gives credence to the defendants’ argument.
The publication also got in touch with the Ulbricht’s mother, Lyn Ulbricht who also raised questions about the evidence used to sentence her son. She calls the whole ordeal a “travesty of justice”.
Ref: Motherboard | Image: Rolling Stone