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Silk Road 2.0 shut down, site operator faces US federal charges

Silk Road 2.0 has been shut down by the feds, and the site operator now faces federal charges.

Published Fri, Nov 7 2014 4:23 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

The FBI has shut down Silk Road 2.0, operated by 26-year-old programmer Blake Benthall from San Francisco, running the site under the name "Defcon." The website was operated via Tor and sold $8 million worth of marijuana and narcotics per month, supplying 150,000 active users, according to reports.

Silk Road 2.0 shut down, site operator faces US federal charges | TweakTown.com

"As alleged, Blake Benthall attempted to resurrect Silk Road, a secret website that law enforcement seized last year, by running Silk Road 2.0, a nearly identical criminal enterprise," said Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney. "Let's be clear - this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison. Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don't get tired."

Trying to launch Silk Road 2.0, regardless of initial success, was likely going to end up in the crosshairs of federal authorities. If someone wants to try to launch a successor, they will need to find new techniques to stay anonymous - at the cost of running a smaller, more secretive operation - that would likely eat into profits.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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