VID: Silk Road, Online Freedom, and Why the Prosecution (and Conviction) of Ross Ulbricht Should Worry Us All

The mother of the alleged "Dread Pirate Roberts" spoke out prior to her son's recent conviction.


The trial of Ross Ulbricht, the accused mastermind behind the online marketplace Silk Road, ended earlier this month with his conviction on all 7 counts related to running the website. 

Prior to this  judgment, Reason TV spoke with his mother, Lyn Ulbricht, about the prosecution of her son. Watch below for the full interview.

Interview by Nick Gillespie. Shot and edited by Jim Epstein. Additional camera by Anthony L. Fisher. About 22 minutes. Original release date was November 26, 2014, and original writeup is below. 

"I am fighting for my son," says Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of 30-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who faces life in prison as the alleged creator and operator of "Silk Road," an illicit online marketplace that was shut down by the feds last year. "But [this fight] is bigger than Ross, and I think one website is far less dangerous than the government trampling on our rule of law and the consitution."

Ulbricht sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to talk about why she believes the government's case against Ross broadly violates his constitutional rights and threatens online freedom.

For more on Ross Ulbricht and the government's case against Silk Road, read Brian Doherty's feature story in the December 2014 issue of Reason magazine, "How Buying Drugs Online Became Safe, Easy, and Boring."

Shot and edited by Jim Epstein; additional camera Anthony L. Fisher.

About 22 minutes.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to get automatic updates when new material goes live.

NEXT: Anthony Fisher on Improving Elder Care

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. OT: The Subtle Art of not giving a Fuck.

    Kitten picture is the best!

    1. Hilarious. Thanks for posting.

    2. Ha, I like. Thanks for posting that.



    1. But, I have a college degree.

      1. Can you help me with my golf swing with that fancy degree?

        1. golf swing–about as useful as my degree in classics. Which, in all seriousness, I love, BTW.

          I know you’ll love this, L.D.: 2 Animated previews for Rick and Morty season 2:

          1. SAW IT. R&M season 2 is taking too damn long to start again.

            I will see you that video and raise you this one.


            1. Damn! I don’t know what is more amazing: A minute and 11 seconds of THAT, or the fact that somebody took the time to compile them all!

      2. Congratulations, you’re qualified to be POTUS.

        1. At this point, a janitor would do a better job than the current occupant.

      1. Hmmm…I seem to remember someone else who used fasc-r.

      2. Do you mean FASCRS? Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons?

      3. I’m usually on my iPhone. (6 plus, bitches).

        I practically sprain my finger scrolling past his bullshit. I think it has gone on long enough, and now it’s just getting ridiculous.

        1. I mean, feel free to disagree. I’m not sure what I’m doing is the right thing, but I feel like it’s better than nothing.

          His behavior is simply unacceptable to me. It has nothing to do with ideas or viewpoints. He shows up, flings poo everywhere, and then asks why everyone is flinging poo. It’s tiresome, and not OK in my book. And he does it every fucking day.


            1. That’s gonna be a meme by the end of the week.

          2. I noticed this morning that what Francisco was saying about him was pretty accurate. He misinterpreted nearly everything that was said, was overly argumentative and even after even he knew he was wrong he kept trying to argue the point. Also, not all the time but frequently he does not argue in good faith.

            I don’t think he is a troll, he really is fucked up. That is a shame because he could work on that if he faced up to it.

            1. I don’t think he will face up to it. He’s too invested in the idea that he’s the smartest guy in the room.

              I’d actually help him if that were the case. But sadly, I don’t think that’s the direction we’re headed right now.

          3. “His behavior is simply unacceptable to me. It has nothing to do with ideas or viewpoints. He shows up, flings poo everywhere, and then asks why everyone is flinging poo. It’s tiresome, and not OK in my book.”

            Why anyone engages that twit is a mystery to me.

          4. “I mean, feel free to disagree. I’m not sure what I’m doing is the right thing, but I feel like it’s better than nothing.”

            Your lack if self awareness is stunning. It’s like your on a crusade to save your online community and are completely unaware of how pathetic that is. If you were on any other discussion board everyone would be in stitches over your childish overblown sense of self righteousness

            The armchair psychologizing from the little clique here is truly hilarious. You’re ostensibly grown men who are really this obsessed with some stranger who posts on ‘your’ discussion board. Get over yourselves.

          5. ” It has nothing to do with ideas or viewpoints.”

            Sure, sure.

            It’s funny that all the guys doing the ‘see, everyone thinks you’re bad’ routine won’t take my challenge to go to a discussion board with a different ideological bent and start posting exactly what you post here. How long before you’d start getting the same childish treatment you’re giving me right now? At some level below your layers of frightened groupthink and insularity I think you actually know this.

            1. STFU Bo. No one likes or respects you. You’re pathetic and your attempts to compensate with long-windedness only intensify how pathetic you are.

        2. iPhone 6 plus is da shit! Im commenting from the bar at Rock Bottom in LBC. Watching the Dook game and sipping a vodka cranberry. Later its up to Santa Nonica for a Chinese New Year party and power drinking! Happy Chinese New Year reasonoids.

            1. Racist!!

          1. Power drinking. Is there any other kind?

          2. I have refused to update my iPhone for years now. I have a 2 or 3, not sure which. I take calls, look at the weather and occasionally texts. Once in a while I lurk these boards with it but it is infuriating, so I rarely do it. Why should I spend money on a new phone when I can spend that money on a new gun?

            My wife has been haranguing me for a couple of years to stop being so cheap and update my phone. She wants us both (she has a 5 because she can have anything she wants as far as I am concerned) to update to 6+’s.

            I was fine with her getting one but didn’t think I really need it. I guess if it is all that then i will get one too. Besides, the current one is beginning to have short battery life and I can barely read the scratched up screen anymore.

            1. Splurge, get both.

              You can do a lot with the iPhone 6 plus. It has a much much bigger screen. And it gives me an excuse to wear cargo shorts, which my wife hates.

              1. I am salivating over one of these now. If it comes down to a choice then I will still have the same old phone.


                1. I have their mini 14 and mini thirty. So damn hard to find cheap mags in CA.

                  1. What are you doing living in California?


                    I have a dozen 20rd mags for my mini-14. I have a couple of 30’s but I find the 20s have fewer problems.

                    I have 8-10 rounders for my Saiga 12 also.

                    Seriously, you live in a state that does not recognize your worth as a human being. I know Louisiana has its problems but we don’t have a Board of Equalization. That is just creepy.

                    1. If I don’t like the law, I just break it. Nobody takes the laws here seriously. It’s like the student council is in charge.

              2. I carry around a comparably sized LG G3 without resorting to cargo shorts.

                1. Wait until somebody tells you not to.

            2. Make the upgrade. You’ll be happy.

            3. If you have an iPhone 2 or 3, then even a 6 will have a noticeably bigger screen (and one at a higher resolution).

              I’m still on my 3GS, but will get a 6 in the coming months.

              1. 3GS? Those aren’t even eligible for software upgrades!

                1. Yeah, it’s stuck on iOS 6.

            4. Or you could spend your money on something that isn’t overrated hipster swag, like the Samsung Galaxy 6, which appears to be awesome. Samsung is finally going to cut out the bloatware they stuff into their phones and make an SG worth buying.

              1. I’ve been an Apple fan since before they were hip. I think iOS is far superior to Android. And since more people abandon Android for Apple than the other way around, I know I’m not alone in that belief.

  3. We should do another SoCal reasonoid meetup. How about horse gambling at Santa Anita?

    1. And then horse carpaccio after? Count me in!

      1. I still regret not eating a horse burger in Slovenia. Oh well, I suppose it’s a good reason to go back.

        EDG, I’d be down.

        1. Saturday April 4th. Santa Anita Derby. 1 million dollar stakes. 5 horses from the field will run the Kentucky Derby. The odds on favorite in Kentucky will come out of this race. A great day for drinking and gambling.

          1. Oooh, maybe I’ll know what I’m talking about when I bet at my Aunt’s Kentucky Derby party.

          2. I’ll be at the lovely Marriott Desert Springs for that week. Work with my schedule, you selfish jerks.

            Unless you have an interest in an Indian Casino or 2.

            *whispers* “MORONGO!!!”

            1. You know!

              1. Wait, where are the giant dinosaurs?

                1. Right next to Morongo (and the outlet malls)

            2. Someone say Indian gambling? I have a system for craps. The trick is to never roll a 7.

      2. Waiiit….Shenanigans! Los Doyers! Shenanigans, I say!


          All the horses I see around here just laze around all day grazing. Carpaccio would be the best use of them.

      3. Man: “Get your piping hot horse burgers horse fries, horse cakes and shakes. We got tongue, straight from the horse’s mouth.”
        Leela: “Hmm.”
        Hermes: “It all sounds good.”
        Man: “All our horses are 100% horse-fed for that double-horse “juiced-in” goodness.”
        Leela: “I’ll have the cholesterol-free omelet with horse-beaters.”
        Man: “And you, Sir? How can I horse you?”
        Hermes: “I’ll have a horse Coke.”
        Man: “Horse Pepsi okay?”
        Hermes: “Nay.”

    2. How about Pirates Adventure in Buena Park? Medieval Times?

      What are the chances that we’d get kicked out of there before the first act is over?

  4. Someone posted a video showing how pathetic ISIS training is on the other thread. To expand on that here’s a story from February 2014 which sticks out in my memory as the first time I ever heard of ISIS.

    Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class

    In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

    Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark ? and delicious ? kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.

    On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.

    “This is so funny,” Mr. Hashim said. “It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs.”

    A well-oiled military machine.

    1. Did you see Suthenboy’s video of the Iraqi Army?

      1. My favorite part was the somersault-to-pick-up-RPK-and-point-it-in-the-air move.

        1. Oh, ok. Here’s the one I meant. Look at those sloppy fucking off-balance punches. Hilarious.

          1. The Benny Hill music seems appropriate.

          2. Chris Broach: “I bet those martial arts skills are brutal. Especially the move where they break the tiles on their heads. They are well prepared if attacked by a floor.?”

            It’s easy to see how they lost in Kobane.

          3. Sir, there’s a shrub with an AK 47 moving towards us.

        2. The Taliban isn’t much better.

          This one needs Benny Hill music.

          “It soon becomes clear that their rocket attack completely missed the Afghan police and none of the roadside bombs exploded.”

          1. The best part is when the opportunity has passed and they are arguing about who is responsible for the mines not exploding and one pushes the button to show it is useless and the mines go off.

            Goddamn, I blew vodka out of my nose. Do you have any idea how much that burns?

          2. I was waiting for the mine to blow them up, or the guy flinging the RPG around to have a little mishap.

            Oh well, I can still imagine it.

    2. J.V. team?

    3. The most ridiculous part is that ISIS is still far and above every non-Kurdish Syrian and (for the most part) Iraqi force. Think of how much they must suck to be get the beat down from a force with tanks that gets the beat down from Kurds armed with small arms in Kobane. Arabs: they suck at fighting.

    1. Which drugs? Meth and H?

    2. Child services won’t do shit. They’re to busy fighting people that won’t resist.

    3. “Seman.” Seems appropriate.

      Guy needs six months to the electric chair.

  5. What the fuck? Where’s the video?

  6. I make up to USD90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around USD40h to USD86h Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link
    Try it, you won t regret it!.


  7. Lets hit them up JD, I mean like wow.

  8. ??????? Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer has gone so far as to
    I’m going to show you how I make a living online! Here is a company that will pay you $100 if you don’t make money in 24 hours. Take a look this company has an A+ Business Bureau Rating
    Get Paid Up To $23.75 Per hour …..


  9. Am I the only one that doesn’t see a video?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.