The alleged founder of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, has now joined the Twitter sphere. As of this writing on 19 July 2018, Ulbricht’s Twitter account already has thousands of followers and it has only been six hours since his first tweet.

The man was arrested in 2013 and convicted in 2015 of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fake identity documents, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. He has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His legal team has made many appeals to get a re-trial, having even filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States, without success. Now for the first time, Ross Ulbricht is able to get messages to the outside world via a Twitter account he has created with the help of freeross.org.

One of the few rights that prisoners have is the right to send letters, and someone on the outside is coordinating with Ross Ulbricht to receive the letters and post them onto Twitter. All letters will be posted on freeross.org and linked to in the Tweets to prove authenticity. Ross Ulbricht isn’t allowed to directly use internet for the rest of his life.

A message on his Twitter profile says, “A minute of your life could save the rest of mine. Please sign the petition for my clemency“. Now that Ross Ulbricht’s legal team has gone all the way to the Supreme Court and failed, the only option for him to gain his freedom is via a Presidential pardon, and that’s what the petition is for.

On the website freeross.org, it explains a pardon should be granted because police seized internet traffic data without a warrant, violating the Fourth Amendment (of the US Constitution). Unproven and unprosecuted murder for hire allegations made his sentence worse. At least two corrupt federal investigators involved with the case stole Bitcoin from Silk Road and ended up in prison. Defense cross-examination was blocked during the trial and there is proof evidence was tampered with. Ulbricht wasn’t the only one running Silk Road and the prosecution is thought to have covered up NSA involvement in the investigation.

Additionally, Ulbricht has no previous criminal background. All of his convictions were for non-violent offenses, and Silk Road prohibited stolen goods, hitmen, and child porn. Further, it is speculated that the judge was biased when making the decision due to Ulbricht’s political philosophy, which would be a violation of the First Amendment.

The Silk Road was the biggest darknet marketplace from 2011 and 2013, and one of the first to use Bitcoin. Silk Road used a combination of Tor and Bitcoin to facilitate anonymous transactions, and for a long time was untouchable by police despite vigorous efforts from law enforcement. In total BTC 9,519,664 (currently worth USD 71 billion as of 19 July 2018) were transacted on Silk Road, and Silk Road played a role in accelerating Bitcoin’s early adoption and popularity. At the time Silk Road’s trading volume was 10-40 Million USD a year, a drop in the ocean in terms of markets worldwide.

 

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