The Silk Road 2.0 Tales & Psy-Ops!

12 minute read

Posted by: DeepDotWeb December 24, 2013

Just when we thought that this drama could not get any worse, Oracle came along AGAIN announcing he would release the true story about the recent events in 12 hours – at the beginning we thought “meh…”, but after reading the post, We figured out that This latest SR drama is so hilarious / pathetic / sad / funny / dangerous (cant decide?!) that we are not sure if we should laugh or cry, everyone (at least those of you who are not bored to death yet) should read the previous posts – here & here and this one, and judge for themselves.  Anyway we look at it, this story is just…. well…. good story, kinda like watching a retard version of breaking bad,  so we just had to post it anyway, you decide if you should believe it or not:

Read the OP and comments here: http://silkroad5v7dywlc.onion/index.php?topic=11089.0

So ladies and gentleman, we present you with the best Christmas drama story of 2013 – “The Silk Road 2.0 Tales & Psy-Ops!”:

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Alright, I’m going to try to shed a little light on some things that should hopefully give you all a collective sigh of relief, put to rest some theories, and reveal my intentions.
While doing so, I have to walk a fine line between personal OPSEC, maintaining the anonymity & privacy of others, and sticking to a commitment to respect that “behind the scenes shit” that sometimes has to be done.

It’s been about four days since the unfortunate arrests of Libertas, Inigo and SSBD.
It’s been about two/three days since DPR2 has been heard from.
It’s been almost three months since SR1 was shutdown and DPR1 was arrested
It’s been about two and a half months since the new SR “setup” came into being.

I first publicly popped into the picture when these forums first went up, but my association goes back to way before that. I can’t get into details, but I’ve never been a mod/admin/developer/vendor/buyer on either SR1 or SR2, but I have been privy to quite a bit of the inner workings of both. I’ve seen a lot of cool shit happen, a lot of sad shit happen, and I’ve always had the community’s interests at heart. I have 0 financial stake in SR1 or SR2, but I do think Silk Road is perhaps one of the coolest fucking concepts of our life time.

That being said, it’s time for a factual trip down memory lane folks.

Some of you are too young to remember (did I really just say that?!), but many moons ago on the original forum, DPR1 had posted a Job Hire looking for experienced developers/coders. People made some noise and bitched about how that would compromise the site’s security. But DPR1 had made a solid guarantee that anyone contracted to work on the site in a developer capacity would be in somewhat of an isolated environment, and they’d never ever have access to anything critical. And that’s exactly true. He did contract some work out, to two (I think) devs, and had them help him with the code. He never asked for their doxx (as he required from Administrators such as Libertas or Inigo) because they were never in any position to damage the site or do anything malicious. They weren’t able to push anything live, and were essentially just hired hands. DPR1 (Ross) controlled the actual live implementation. Libertas, SSBD, and Inigo WERE required to provide their doxx details to him as per his rules. Why they did that.. is a question they will probably be asking themselves a long fucking time. Cirrus and some of the other mods that came and went never provided any doxx information, as they were only forum moderators and had no power over the actual live, ecommerce valhalla known as Silk Road.

StExo was a prominent poster/member of the SR1 forum community (if you’re reading this Stex, drop a line sometime.. and share some of those gazillions in the Christmas spirit!) who was very, very well versed in security methods. He always provided some pretty solid security related guidance on the forums and privately. He’s pretty famous on the clearnet as well as “money launderer to the elite” or something.

Fast forward to Ocotober 2 2013 –
Ross Ulbricht is busted, SR1 is seized and panic ensues. That day sucked ass! It’s pointless dwelling on the facts surrounding that, but I think it’s obvious now that Ross made some serious fuckups, and he cooked his own goose. Nevertheless, it’s sad how fate played out for him.

After the chaos that ensued that day, there was some behind the scene actions that brought about SR2 and SR2 forums:
A couple of the contracted devs, some of the admins/mods, security gurus like StExo and Astor, and a few other close stakeholders/associates had some back&forth on how to move forward (if at all) and who’d have what role. Initially the general consensus was that Libertas should be “DPR2”, yet Libertas himself and a few others dissented that this would be a bad move as Ross had Libertas’s doxx and nobody knew if his laptop was encrypted or if he stored the doxx or wrote them down. (Obviously at this point everyone assumed Ross wouldn’t talk/plea.. and even in his initial court appearance he “disavowed all aliases”) But the fear was LE forensics would somehow decrypt or locate the doxx he kept on his administrators. The next contender up was StExo. StExo never “laundered SR’s money” as someone wrote on the forums. StExo once referred a Canadian money launderer to either DPR1 or the admins, and it’s likely DPR1 (Ross) had that person’s doxx, but Ross never got around to laundering anything(all the BTC was seized from his laptop), and StExo mentioned the last he heard from the Canadian was right after SR1 went down.. and then he just went off the grid. Stexo was a security genius though, so that option was also kicked around for being the new DPR. StExo declined because he said he didn’t need the money as he had made a fuckton of dough over the past few decades and didn’t really have the time because he was semi retired and wasn’t interested in meeting the same fate DPR1 did. The next contender was a prominent member of the SR1 community who was tech savvy and super into the whole libeteraian/freemarket/Silk Road forever school of thought. Ding ding ding, we have a winner. DPR2 was born, and agreed upon by all the members of this “high council” (pun intended LOL). Stexo and Astor vouched for his security/OPSEC bona fides, Libertas and company vouched that he had no record of buying/vending, and the nerds vouched that he’d be capable of administering a site.

The next steps were how to get things up and running, and what to do in the event of another catastrophe

1)The coders went to work to build SR2, which took forever and was buggy as hell because they really did not have access to a majority of the database or code that Ross did. This is why it took SR2 so long to get up to speed and bug free
2) A plan was put in place to have a few “Sleepers” in the crowd. This was a contingency plan in the event of DPR2 or SR2’s capture/seizure. The key element was to be a “sleeper”, it had to be someone that Ross/DPR1 never had any doxx on. The job of the sleeper mods were to integrate themselves into the community, maintain a good reputation and gain respect/trust, never buy/vend, and only “be activated” if shit hit the fan. The “sleeper admins” job was to run the servers. They’d regroup and immediately either re-construct SR, the forums or both.
3) A plan was put into play to spread disinformation on the forums for LE/haters/trolls/competition and other nay-sayers. Psy-ops.

Fast forward to now:

Because of (what we assume) is Ross’s cooperation (as mentioned in several news articles) and his attorneys strategy to resolve the case ASAP, Libertas/Inigo/SSBD were all nailed. Again another sad day. DPR2, for reasons I don’t think anyone can blame him, decided he would have to vanish, and the system that was in place will take over. This is something I don’t think anybody should hold against the guy. If you see over half your staff get busted in a coordinated worldwide swoop, you are not going to sit calm. You’re going to clean house and get the fuck out of Dodge.

This week you’ve seen a few “sleepers” get promoted as moderators. You’ve seen a sleeper admin take over entire control of the forums and site. This can’t be stressed enough, the sleepers (mods and admin(s)) have absolutely 0 connection to Ross Ulbricht. None. He had no information/doxx on them, and they’re absolutely removed from his reach. This team was formed while he was sitting behind bars. Unfortunately, the last remaining vestige of Ross (or his laptops) potential damage were Lib/Inigo/SSBD.
Cirrus and ChemCat have always been mods and therefore never had to hand over their doxx to anyone. Even DPR2 had no connection to Ross, and Ross would be unable to identify him as he was chosen later. DPR2 is smart however, and it’s very likely he’s halfway around the world by now. However, the first few days, everyone involved, had a responsibility to

A)Gauge the damage done by the recent wave of arrests
B)Make sure the “sleepers” and backup mechanism were activated properly and with precision
C)Play a round of psy-ops to protect DPR2 while he had enough time to wipe his slate clean

If you look at my old posting history, back to October, I always projected an image of “distrustful yet grudgingly accepting insider”. Close enough to people to know “where the skeletons are buried”, yet be (a bit TOO) vocal about SR2/DPR2’s decisions. Insider dissent. Perhaps LE would try to flip me? Perhaps I’d let something slip out of anger/spite to burn SR down to the ground? Or perhaps I was tasked to cultivate a certain image/trust/credibility and only show up when the need to gauge the response of any big change occurred.

When DPR2 vanished, I made a post that I will be shedding some light on the events. Behind the scenes, conversations were taking place on how best to buy some time for him to wipe his slate clean and also see just how deep the Libertas damage was.
When it became apparent that the arrests were ONLY legacy arrests based on SR1 roles/activities, I decided to have some fun with the pys-ops portion of it. Notice how no moderator, nor Cirrus, not Chemcat, and not Defcon stopped me from any of my ranting and raving. Nothing I said got deleted. Nothing I wrote was confirmed or denied.

The decision to drop subtle and not so subtle hints that DPR2 is Astor, DPR2 is Stexo, DPR2 is Scout, to check your PIN# on the site to make sure BTC was still there was done to mind-fuck those who wish to see SR shut down and break the spirit of this community. I knew Stex or Astor or Scout etc wouldn’t mind because these guys were fucking good with security, they’ve been out of the loop/scene for several months, and they all rarely login here. Painting Defcon as DPR2 was icing on the cake.. since he’s clearly not, as he’s been around since mid November.. and DPR2 or anyone would have had no idea that a “new Admin” would be needed to pull off some fuckery since nobody could have anticipated Libertas/Inigo/SSBD’s capture.

Now that a few days have elapsed, it was time to tell the community to relax, take a deep breathe, and everything is under control. The “sleepers” (sounds like the Walking Dead) have taken full control of the forums and site (no palace coups, no fake-your-own-vanishing acts, no Sheep Market scams), DPR2 is long gone and hopefully safe and sound (or we’d have heard about it by now), and site is closed as was scheduled for Christmas weeks ago.. and will re-open as scheduled. Nothing skipped a beat.

The good news:
SR2 site/forums is fully under control of the admins/mods
The site works fine, and is only scheduled to be down for Christmas
Nothing and nobody else is in danger as everything that went down was remnants from the original SR1 shutdown/arrests
DPR2 by now is probably completely safe and won’t be in a cage for daring to stand up to a failed War on Drugs and it’s oppressive minions

The bad news:
We’ve lost Libertas/Inigo/SSBD
The community had to sit in confusion as to what was going on and who was in charge and be subject to wild psy-ops (sorry.. but necessary evil!)

The best news:
1)SR will be back after Christmas as regularly scheduled
2)We’re gonna fucking win this thing

I know this is a lot to soak in, but hopefully explains my cryptic “announcements” and other various confusing elements as to who’s in charge, is the site safe, etc etc

Theres a lot of stuff that had to be redacted from this essay as per OPSEC and SR’s policy, but know that everyone involved either overtly or covertly has nothing but the community’s interests at heart and love this place.

Ohyeah, Merry Christmas!

*PS – No questions about my role. Can’t answer. I can say I’m not an “employee” or an undercover mod/admin. I’m just a friend with benefits. Ok.. seriously. Think of Harvey Keitel’s role in “Pulp Fiction”. Cool fucking guy, aint he?


« Last Edit: Today at 10:39:43 am by oracle »

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The comments from reddit reflects how many people are feeling about this ongoing drama, this sure doesnt help building back the trust on the darknet markets, some even suggested it was faked by paying Oracle off to shut up about the true problems.

On Silk Road forums the reaction were a mix confusion, distrust,relief and joy. See you on the sequel.  Somehow we get the feeling that this is not the last we are going to hear about it, probably around the time that the market will be back from the Christmas shutdown.  Marry Christmas!

>We made screenshots of this post for future generations:


Updated: 2013-12-24