The defense in Ross Ulbricht’s case has accused the government of conducting illegal searches, and questioned exactly how law enforcement officials could have pinpointed the location of the Silk Road data center, considering it was hidden inside the TOR network.
The answer came just a hours ago in new court filings published by the prosecution as part of its rebuttal, describing the precise method used by the FBI to track down the marketplace used primarily for illegal drug trafficking.
As investigators typed “miscellaneous” strings of characters into the Silk Road login page’s entry fields, they noticed an IP address that didn’t match any known Tor “nodes,” the computers that bounce information through Tor’s anonymity network to obscure its true source.
And when they entered that IP address directly into a web browser, the Silk Road’s CAPTCHA prompt appeared, the garbled-letter image designed to prevent spam bots from entering the site.
“This indicated that the Subject IP Address was the IP address of the SR server,” writes former FBI agent Christopher Tarbell, “and that it was ‘leaking’ from the SR server because the computer code underlying the login interface was not properly written to work on the TOR network.”
That discovery by the FBI, the prosecuting attorneys in Ulbricht’s case argue, means that no illegal spying techniques were used or needed to pinpoint the world’s largest anonymous market for illicit drugs.
In fact, they stated, the evidence revealing the server’s physical location was left in plain sight due to faulty website code.
Do you believe these new developements will hurt Ulbricht’s Case? Will law enforcement go after Silk Road 2.0 next? Log in below using your favorite social network to weigh in on the discussion.
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