[tor-talk] Silk Road taken down by FBI

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Thu Oct 3 22:54:04 UTC 2013

On Thu, Oct 03, 2013 at 08:58:57PM +0000, mirimir wrote:
> So they did have the server before they knew who he was.

Careful there -- while I assume they didn't lie in their affidavit, it's
quite reasonable to assume that they investigated all sorts of things,
all sorts of ways, and then afterwards chose to write down exactly the
set of facts that when lined up in the correct order makes it look like
a clean solid case.

It's a slippery slope from there to 'parallel construction', but I think
it's standard practice to start with some leads and use them to find
more solid facts, and it's also standard practice to not mention all
your leads in your affidavit.

To be more concrete, their job here is to link the guy to the website.
So if they had a pretty good idea of who the guy was, but not enough
evidence to bust him, it makes sense to me that they would go find one
of the servers, collect all the evidence they can from it, and hope
to find something specific that points back at the guy. And who knows,
maybe they did that several times before they found something they liked
enough to build a case from it.

Your theory that "he was sold out by one of his administrators" also
fits fine here -- the administrators pointed to the guy but then they
needed to build a solid-looking case.

> We also knew
> that he was sold out by his VPN provider. Hopefully, the identity of
> that VPN provider will come out soon.

Why? So everybody can abandon that VPN and move to a different one that
also responds to subpoenas but hasn't been written about in a high-profile
court case yet? :)


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