News and Events

Silk Road: more arrests imminent: MPR cyber crime defence solicitors on standby

  • Posted
Silk Road: more arrests imminent: MPR cyber crime defence solicitors on standby

Last week saw the arrest of 4 Britons on suspicion of supplying drugs via the anonymous online market place called “Silk Road” where it is believed millions of dollars worth of illegal services and substances are traded using virtual currency called bitcoins. Users of the site can buy and sell illegal drugs, weapons, extreme pornography and trade in other illegal services.

The newly launched NCA (National Crime Agency) claim to be investigating a number of suspects over the illegal online drugs marketplace. The agency is using its new powers and specialist cybercrime unit to partner with other agencies like the FBI in the fight against organised cybercrime. The FBI has recently closed down the site and its alleged creator Ross Ulbricht has been detained and faces charges in the US for narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering.

It is believed that the Silk Road website netted over $1billion in revenue. Silk Road had to be accessed via the “deep web” which is not covered by standard search engines. This enabled users to hide their identities. However, Keith Bristow the Director General of the NCA has issued a warning that “it is impossible to completely erase your digital footprint. No matter how technology-savvy the offender, they will always make mistakes”. He also warned of future arrests in the UK concerning Silk Road users.

At MPR, our Cyber Crime Solicitors (part of the Computer Crime/Internet Fraud Team at MPR) would take issue with the rhetoric from the NCA’s Director General. We too are specialists in this area of internet crime and work with some of the best computer forensic experts in the world to defend allegations of cyber crime. We are fully equipped to deal with any investigation or prosecution by the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit and all aspects of criminal defence.

“Dark” or “Deep web” investigations can involve multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency partnerships. It is essential to instruct specialist computer crime defence solicitors to proactively defend any allegation of cybercrime.

At MPR, our Cyber Crime Solicitors understand the technology and the way in which the NCA will investigate having been involved and defended many prosecutions by SOCA (Serious and Organised Crime Agency – the predecessor organisation to the NCA) over the years.

We understand the complexities of the Tor app, the Tor network, Onion Router and the significance of the FBI claiming to have taken control of Freedom Hosting. How soon will the Tor puzzle unravel to reveal the number of alleged users and non users who came across the Silk Road site quite by accident or out of sheer curiosity? Only time will tell…