Pepe Escobar: The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria

The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria:

By Pepe Escobar

China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a ‘Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction’ held in Beijing

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

Read morePepe Escobar: The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria

Silk Road 2.0 Has Been Born … New Website Mocks the Feds


Silk Road 2.0 Has Been Born…New Website Mocks the Feds (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 6, 2013):

The “authorities” can shut down website after website, but the tide of new technology and the human spirit itself cannot and will not be overcome. This is the hard lesson that statists and collectivists will be learning the hard way in the years to come, as decentralization and freedom stage a gigantic, peaceful revolution. A revolution that is already in full swing and gaining tremendous momentum with each passing day.

It took only a little over a month for Silk Road 2.0 to launch on the “dark web,” and there are already close to 500 illegal drug listings. As part of the new service there is even a new security feature that allows users to use their PGP encryption key as an extra authentication measure. The login page itself is even a parody of the Department of Justice’s seizure of the original site in early October. This is what you see when you visit:

More from Forbes:

On Wednesday morning, Silk Road 2.0 came online, promising a new and slightly improved version of the anonymous black market for drugs and other contraband that the Department of Justice shut down just over a month before. Like the old Silk Road, which until its closure served as the Web’s most popular bazaar for anonymous narcotics sales, the new site uses the anonymity tool Tor and the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to protect the identity of its users. As of Wednesday morning, it already sported close to 500 drug listings, ranging from marijuana to ecstasy to cocaine. It’s even being administered by a new manager using the handle the Dread Pirate Roberts, the same pseudonym adopted by the previous owner and manager of the Silk Road, allegedly the 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht arrested by the FBI in San Francisco on October 2nd.

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Welcome To The Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview With Dread Pirate Roberts

Welcome to the Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview with Dread Pirate Roberts (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 15, 2013):

An entrepreneur as professionally careful as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t trust instant messaging services. Forget phones or Skype. At one point during our eight-month preinterview courtship, I offer to meet him at an undisclosed location outside the United States. “Meeting in person is out of the question,” he says. “I don’t meet in person even with my closest advisors.” When I ask for his name and nationality, he’s so spooked that he refuses to answer any other questions and we lose contact for a month.All my communications with Roberts are routed exclusively through the messaging system and forums of the website he owns and manages, the Silk Road… “The highest levels of government are hunting me,” says Roberts. “I can’t take any chances.”
– From Forbes’ recent article on the Silk Road

Most of my readers have probably heard of the Silk Road. No, not the historical trade routes that linked Europe to Asia, but rather the online illegal drug marketplace accessible only via anonymity browsing software Tor, and where the only currency accepted is Bitcoin.

Those of you who have heard about it, probably know far less about the man that runs it. A character who only goes by the name Dread Pirate Roberts. He’s a character who usually stays firmly in the shadows for obvious reasons, but who has come out and done an excellent interview with Andy Greenberg of Forbes. What follows are some of the more interesting exchanges.

From Forbes:

Read moreWelcome To The Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview With Dread Pirate Roberts