Administrators have decided to restrict the /r/SilkRoad subreddit on Reddit to discourage the use of the 2.0 version of the underground marketplace. Visitors of /r/SilkRoad are now redirected to the /r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit.
DarkNetMarkets moderators have published a statement to motivate their decision. They say it wasn’t easy deciding what to do with the subreddit.
“We talked it out, and it was decided that in order to discourage use of SilkRoad 2.0, we would change the subreddit to restricted and redirect users to /r/DarkNetMarkets. We believe that SilkRoad is a dying brand that Ross Ulbricht would be ashamed of now,” they said.
They highlighted the fact that Silk Road was compromised even before Ulbricht was arrested. Moderators are confident that customers of the dark web can easily find other marketplaces and vendors that suit their needs.
The /r/SilkRoad subreddit can still be accessed by unchecking the “use subreddit style” option. However, it’s only available for historical purposes. New posts are banned.
“We hope to see many new subscribers at /r/DarkNetMarkets, and we hope you’ll feel comfortable being a part of our community. We are constantly working on ways to make this subreddit conducive not only to safety and learning, but to fun as well,” moderators noted.
While some users of the /r/SilkRoad subreddit say they’ll miss it, most people believe shutting it down has been the right decision.
In Silk Road-related news, Ulbricht was charged in February with narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, money laundering and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
The alleged operator of the notorious underground marketplace faces life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against him.
A couple of weeks ago, Silk Road 2 operators announced that they suffered a data breach in which all Bitcoin reserves were stolen. The attackers are said to have leveraged the weakness that caused Mt. Gox and Bitstamp to disable withdrawals.
Defcon, the administrator of Silk Road 2, promised to reimburse stolen Bitcoins.
It’s not easy running an underground marketplace these days. The Dutch National Police managed to shut down the Utopia Marketplace just days after it was launched. Five people have been arrested in connection to the case.
Law enforcement agencies usually infiltrate such marketplaces to collect evidence against both operators and customers, after which they crack down on their activities. Tor-based services are more difficult to disrupt, but it’s not impossible, as we’ve recently seen.