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Silk Road 2.0: There’s a New Dread Pirate Roberts

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ive weeks after the FBI shuttered what it called “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet” and arrested its suspected owner, a new online bazaar for drugs and other contraband has arisen from the ashes bearing the same name — Silk Road.


That’s not the only similarity, though. The website’s owner is fashioning himself as the “Dread Pirate Roberts,” a reference to the book and film The Princess Bride, which the owner of the original Silk Road also used.

We’ve communicated with the new Dread Pirate Roberts (DPR) throughout the past month, using encrypted messaging on the new Silk Road’s forums. Though the marketplace launched Wednesday, the new site’s forums have been active since Oct. 7 — an attempt by the new Dread Pirate Roberts to hold together the massive Silk Road community, keep its members from going to competitors and engage them in the process of reinventing the site.


The new Dread Pirate Roberts agreed to answer select questions about the new site — an interview DPR said to be exclusive to Mashable. We don’t know this person’s real name, location, age, gender or that there aren’t multiple people behind the digital black mask. The new Dread Pirate Roberts could be anyone. The new Silk Road could be a well-orchestrated scam; the new Dread Pirate Roberts could be the old Dread Pirate Roberts, though he or she insists that’s not the case.

For the purposes of this story, we will refer to the new DPR as a solitary male. And much like his cinematic namesake — the farm boy Westley turned genial swashbuckler — the new Roberts inherited the moniker.



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