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    If Silk Road Gets Shut Down, It Will Be Back Online in 15 Minutes

    Written by

    Brian Anderson

    Features Editor

    Photo via Flickr/CC. 

    It only took a month for the Silk Road 2.0 to go live after the now infamous Silk Road marketplace shuttered. One month. Should the budding deep-web bazaar experience the same fate as its predecessor, and be knocked out by authorities still whack-a-moling their way through the online front of the war on drugs, the Silk Road 3.0 would be up and running in 15 minutes, tops.

    That's according to the Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonymous head of SR 2.0. In what are arguably his most breathy public remarks to date the "new" DPR, who either cribbed his handle from the DPR of SR 1.0 fame or who is indeed the original DPR, opened up to Mike Power on his long-term vision for the site. 

    The exchange mostly finds DPR speaking of the need for such a peer-reviewed, quality-controlled service; if authorities come to their senses and start going after "real criminals", DPR says, maybe then will his philanthropic intentions come to full bore. But if you were hoping for a glimpse at SR 2.0's backend, for some word on how the site's nuts and bolts have fallen into place, sorry. DPR is decidedly close-lipped. 

    And yet he does offer Power an illuminating hint at the regenerative nature of what stands to be the next Tor market kingpin (more on this in a moment). "You will hunt me  —but first ask yourselves is it worth it?" DPR asks. "Taking me down will not affect Silk Road ", the administrator adds, as: 

    ...back-ups have already been distributed and this entire infrastructure can be redeployed elsewhere in under 15 minutes, and you will gain nothing from our database.

    That's not much to go off of—DPR doesn't offer anything more by way of the site's backend. Which is not surprising. 

    Still, to think SR 3.0—and if it comes to it, SR 4.0 and 5.0 and 6.0, and on and on into the future—could pop up elsewhere, each an infrastructural clone of its predecessor, pokes a gaping hole in law enforcement's scheme to blot out illegal darknet commerce. On the heels of Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, calling for a more "nimble" approach to dealing with all today's Silk Road-like services, DPR alluding to a quarter-hour reboot is prehaps yet another reminder that all is pointless in the online front of the war on drugs.

    It also serves to distance both himself and his fellow admins, many of whom are believed to have been global admins on the original SR, from some of the sketchy goings on and scambaggers of the Wild West that is the post SR 1.0 dark web. If he hadn't stepped up and built out this sort of failsafe, DPR asks, "who would have? Another MettaDPR?"

    He's referring to the swindling head of the now defunct Project Black Flag, which until recently was billed as a contender for becoming the next Tor market kingpin. Earlier this month, MettaDPR upped and made off with all its users' money. Scamming doesn't take long. Beaming up an exact replica of everyone's favorite dark-web bazaar apparently won't, either.