The Silk Road was an online black market where drug and money laundering transactions took place. Many of the transactions that took place at the Silk Road market worked with digital ozone, and for a long time turned the whole industry into a black eye. After a lengthy FBI investigation, the owners of the Silk Road site were arrested on October 6 and suspended.
Understanding Silk Road
The digital era has brought many technological innovations to our home fronts and disrupted life as we know it. We can now conduct transactions online with e-commerce sites, pay for online transactions using virtual currency, get loans online using social lending sites, operate anonymously on the web using data anonymization technology, and even connect with company recruiters using social media sites. The list of digital technology inventions goes on and on and ventures into every sector of the world economy, such as the financial sector or the retail sector. An increase in the use of cyber technology like cryptocurrency and e-commerce marketplaces led to an increase in the demand for data privacy. Demand for privacy resulted in an increase in regulation and laws over how data is used as well as an increase in technological tools and platforms created to serve users who prefer anonymity. While the initiation of data anonymization tools helps in protecting users’ personally identifiable information (PII), these tools are also used by entities who intend to conduct illegal and criminal activities.
In 2011, the Silk Road was born out of a need to connect illegal drug sellers with interested buyers online while protecting their identities and transactions using anonymization techniques.