Thanks, Bitcoin blockchain!
This will play out analogous to what happened with Napster - the powers that be take the pioneer down, and then a succession of replacements spring up in its place.
Ulbricht is many things, but a hero? I’m not sure how anyone arrived at that.
Selective memory at a minimum. If you leave out the bits where he attempted to contract 6 murders, he might look vaguely libertarian-heroic
Ayn Rand called William Edward Hickman a hero of freedom even though he did nothing else in life but kidnap and kill a preteen.
His defense was toast as soon as the prosecutors traced the bitcoins back to him.
If the prosecution is accurate Ulbricht was undone by an IRS agent (though some commenters are calling shenanigans). And since in the US 'tis the season, don’t mess with the Governments revenue stream.
I’ve had exchanges with a few such people. They are mostly of a libertarian bent and believe he was fighting for individual freedom instead of to make pots of money for himself.
There is certainly a hint that the government was involved in some shady dealings to track down Ulbricht’s server in Iceland. Possibly and IRS tip (illegal), possibly from NSA surveillance (ehhhh. . . illegal?). He could have claimed a fourth amendment right against an illegal search and had most, if not all, the evidence thrown out. But to do that he would have had to claim ownership of the server else he has no standing. This claim was in fact advanced early in the trial, but Ulbricht declined to claim ownership so it was pretty much the equivalent of claiming you were illegally searched when the cops entered your neighbor’s house.
This and a few other things led one writer at Ars Technica, who has been watching the trial, to suspect that Ulbricht was so arrogant about his innate superiority that he hosed his own defense.
How the fuck does this trial open and render a verdict in one month on a case with arcane technological transactions that spanned years, while the death of Michael Brown took thrice as long to decide not to even open a trial for events that transpired over less than a half-hour?
yeah, i read the same piece earlier. i just can’t wrap my head around someone hosing themselves so bad due to supposed arrogance. perhaps that is why my criminal empires have never even got off the ground.
a fourth amendment fight would have been a hail mary, but he may have had more time out of jail on the front end (those arguments tend to take a lot of time to argue).
It is not easy to understand but such people do exist. I have a friend currently going through a divorce. First appearance in court, the judge ordered her husband to continue paying the amount he had agreed to, and he took the opportunity to lecture the judge on a few things. His lawyer took him out in the hallway for a little discussion. Afterwards, he told his wife he was firing his lawyer. Every lawyer has a tale about the client from hell.
My friend’s husband is convinced that when they divorce, it will be the biggest scandal ever to hit Atlanta. If Ulbricht is anything like him, he could easily have believed the frame-up defense was a slam dunk. But then we’ll never really know, I guess.
Ross Ulbricht is not a cop.
That’s not mutually exclusive.
I for one want to live in the world where I can buy (at least small amounts of) anything I please without having to go through the bureaucracy of getting a permit to get something I have an inherent right to have, whether it is begging a white-coated priest of medicine for a scrip or cowering before customs to give me an import (or export) permit.
Well, two points on that.
Contracting a murder for hire is the exact opposite of a freedom fighter. Ulbricht, on the evidence so far, is a garden variety criminal.
Your rights end where my rights begin, and my right to good health is compromised if you abuse, let’s say antibiotics. In fact, we can see that already since the “priests of medicine” as well as the pharmaceutical industry have allowed antibiotic abuse and now we all face an increasing prevalence of resistant diseases. You do not have the right to expose other people to danger and possible death so as to practice your supposed right to self medicate. You do not have the right to externalize the costs of your bad decisions.
Let’s say he has two facets.
With antibiotics, I am willing to argue. With other things (analgesics, myorelaxants…), where whatever I take won’t influence the substance’s effect on your problems, I will disagree rather hard.
(We need some sort of alternative to common antibiotics. The phage therapy seems to be in the early stages of renaissance, and there are some attempts to leverage nanoparticles, possibly in combination with RNAi/siRNA tech. But I digress.)
Does that mean you usurp the right to claim what is a bad decision? What are the allowed substances to buy openly and what are black-market only?
…let’s hope the progress in microreactors and small-scale ad-hoc synthesis plants will render these arguments moot in the decade or two to come…
You have criminals in your garden? Murderer!
No, it’s the gnomes. There’s a lot of darkness behind their cheery, kitschy facade.
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