This is a mainstream look at the Silk Road, and its founder Ross Ulbricht, by the BBC’s Storyville series from 2017. It mainly takes the standpoint of law enforcement that it was just about making money from selling drugs, while admitting that there may have been more political reasons behind the establishment of the site.
The programme is assembled from interviews with many people who were either involved in the site, in its busting, or reporting on it from the sidelines, and is illustrated often with meaningless clips that don’t relate very well to the spoken word. We hear from various government agents, particularly Gary Alford; from Wired magazine’s Andy Greenberg, who first made the site popular, and from Ross’ ex-girlfriend.
The film purports to show how the hosting of the site was tracked to Iceland, and copies made, and upon investigation they found an IP address, which traced to San Francisco, where Ross was living at the time, and how the agents managed to get him online and logged onto the Silk Road then busted him in a local library.
I am unsure whether the timing accords but they seem not to know about Ross’ admission of starting the site, but not continuing it, or of the conviction of some of the agents involved in the case for corruption after Ross’ conviction. Or about the very questionable evidence that was presented, and the prejudice of the judge, all of which is documented. For an understanding of all this I recommend the Railroaded series, starting here.
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