After Dread Pirate Roberts was unmasked, DPR 2.0 came into power—but even has now stepped down.
The second Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR)—the enigmatic owner of Silk Road, the online drug bazaar designed for anonymous transactions—has entered retirement. And now that he’s gone, other Silk Road staffers can reflect more candidly on what life is like being employed by a darknet kingpin.
“Privacy is a right we deserve”
In our earlier interview with him, DPR 2.0 said, “All I now seek to ensure is that if I do go down, I don’t take Silk Road down with me.” On this count, he succeeded. In the wake of DPR 2.0’s departure, Silk Road appointed an interim leader who goes by the pseudonym Defcon, and the site remains up. The same cannot be said of Silk Road’s predecessor site, which went down in October 2013 after the arrest of its alleged owner and original Dread Pirate Roberts, Ross Ulbricht.
DPR 2.0’s retirement concludes a tense period for the site. In December, two alleged Silk Road moderators were arrested and indicted on drug, hacking, and money laundering charges. Following these events, a spooked DPR 2.0 even imagined he saw FBI cybercrime agent Chris Tarbell. (Tarbell led the investigation and arrest of Ulbricht.)
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