Mike Power, author of the book Drugs 2.0, nabs an encrypted online interview at the site Medium with a person purporting to be operating the new version of the Silk Road darkweb sales site, still using the original pseudonym for that role, "Dread Pirate Roberts." (The federal government claims that a man named Ross Ulbricht who they have arrested was the original Dread Pirate Roberts.)
Choice excerpt, and wise no matter who the source is:
The recurring theme [at] Silk Road is that we provide honest, unadulterated products to people who want them, and whether we [were] here or not, most people would have access to them anyway from shady street dealers who lie through their teeth.
Let us assume you have a son who is in his teenage years and you knew they were going to do drugs, what as a parent, would you do? Would you let them go to their friends’ friends’ dealer … or would you help them buy from Silk Road from vendors who are reviewed regularly, and where we will be offering product-testing services, and [where we have] a resident doctor to ensure nobody harms themselves?
Ultimately you cannot stop people doing drugs, but you can make it safer for them, and get people off the streets and away from violence — which is what we stand for.
He won't discuss security measures for the site, which as Power notes has not yet established a record of completed sales with stated customer satisfaction. And for feds who want to try to slap down the site again, he has this to say:
You will hunt me — but first ask yourselves is it worth it? Taking me down will not affect Silk Road — back-ups have already been distributed and this entire infrastructure can be redeployed elsewhere in under 15 minutes, and you will gain nothing from our database.